In her new book, ''Sleepless in Hollywood'', producer Lynda Obst (''The Fisher King'', ''Sleepless in Seattle'') recounts how the movie business has morphed since she got her start 30 years ago.
1 Power lunches are things of the past.
”Phone calls have been replaced by emails, conversation has been replaced by chitchat, and getting to know someone has been replaced by checking out their clothes and shoes,” Obst writes.
2 Marketing is now king.
”Ten years ago we never knew the names of the heads of marketing…. Now they’re the other rock stars, along with studio heads.”
3 Movies are no longer tested around the country.
The marketing people ”will tell us definitively that Newark and Atlanta and Calabasas are all the same place.”
4 ”Sequelitis” is here to stay.
The reason? ”Diminishing appetite for sequels here is in direct proportion to the increasing appetite for them abroad.”
5 Predicting hits is harder than ever.
As Obst points out, the buzz for Bridesmaids ”wasn’t good,” while the tracking numbers for Ang Lee’s Hulk were through the roof. So audience reaction is increasingly important — and it’s always fast and furious. ”A thousand people will each tell a thousand people what they think of a movie opening in three thousand theaters simultaneously,” Obst writes.”No matter how many TV spots feature the three good reviews, word of mouth from your six closest friends always wins.”