Millennium Movies- Where are They?

Hollywood isn't making any millennium meltdown movies

You would think Hollywood would have grabbed the millennium angle and had a scripting party with movies come out like clockwork as the end of the year approaches. However, there’s not a single millennium movie headed to theaters before the end of the year.

It sure sounds like a Hollywood plot: a race to prevent a Y2K computer glitch from destroying the world. But such a movie is not coming to a screen near you, or anywhere in the country for that matter because the millennium movie race never got out of the starting gate.

So why is Hollywood choosing to ignore the millennium? One major studio executive didn’t want to be identified but said he didn’t see any scripts worth producing out there. Some others say with movies like "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" released in 1998, they may have sapped the appetite for blockbuster end-of-the-world thrillers.

Could the real reason be money or conspiracy? Time magazine’s movie critic, Richard Schickel, says a movie has to have a long shelf life to make it these days. Movies nowadays make half of their money six months after release in the video store. With a subject like the millennium, watching a video months later may not have the attraction to an audience.

Now the conspiracy theory. Some speculate that Hollywood was pressured by Washington to lull the public into a false security about Y2K, even though some governmental officials warn of a potential calamity if high tech computers are not retooled.

There’s always the idea that each Hollywood producer thought everyone else was going to do a millennium movie creating a surplus of millennium movies. Therefore by expecting a glut of movies, producers avoided the subject and thus produced no excess at all. Or in this case not one single movie.

Hollywood’s loss may be Independent Filmmakers gain. A French production company, Haut et Court, commissioned ten films from directors all over the world. Each director’s film is set on December 31, 1999. Their "2000, Seen By…" project from Taiwan, Brazil, Canada, Hungary, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, the United States and Africa is the largest film tribute to the end of the 20th century. The series also includes a reflective piece titled "Last Night" about the different way a small group of people spend their final six hours on Earth, knowing the world will end at midnight.

Source: Reuters

DATE: 11/12/99

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