Hollywood Movie Glut Wallops Indies

Many go straight to DVD as too many films vie for screens
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2008 10:46 AM CDT
Film financiers are increasingly turning their attention to blockbusters like "The Dark Knight" instead of riskier independent films.    (AP Photo/Warner Bros.)
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(Newser) – A surplus of Hollywood movies is forcing many independent films off the big screen, and driving down box office takes for those that do make it, reports the Wall Street Journal. Mainstream films with bankable stars are being sent straight-to-DVD, as too many movies fight for too few theater slots every weekend. More than 600 feature films were released last year—up from 466 in 2002.

Caused by the flood of Wall Street money pouring into Hollywood in the last few years, the glut hits indie films hardest, as small producers can't afford soaring marketing costs to stand out from the pack. The glut is expected to ease, since the credit crisis has dried up funding. But with many already-financed movies still in production, the cut-throat competition is expected to persist for at least a year.