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Ben Affleck Gave a Five-Minute Long Answer to This Interview Question

Ben Affleck Gave a Five-Minute Long Answer to This Interview Question

Ben Affleck was asked about why Ridley Scott‘s The Last Duel, his new movie with Jodie Comer and Matt Damon, did not perform well at the box office.

Specifically, he was asked, “Ridley Scott blamed millennials for The Last Duel underperforming, what’s your take?” His answer was five minutes long, and he made some really great points.

Click inside to read what he said in response…

Ben told THR, “Really, the truth is that I’ve had movies that didn’t work that bombed, that weren’t good. It’s very easy to understand that and why it happened. The movie is shit, people don’t want to see it, right? This movie, The Last Duel, I really like. It’s good and it plays — I saw it play with audiences and now it’s playing well on streaming. It wasn’t one of those films that you say, ‘Oh boy, I wish my movie had worked.’ Instead, this is more due to a seismic shift that I’m seeing, and I’m having this conversation with every single person I know. Though there are various iterations, the conversation is the same: How is [the movie business] changing?”

He continued, “One of the fundamental ways it’s changing is that the people who want to see complicated, adult, non-IP dramas are the same people who are saying to themselves, ‘You know what? I don’t need to go out to a movie theater because I’d like to pause it, go to the bathroom, finish it tomorrow.’ It’s that, along with the fact that you can watch with good quality at home. It’s not like when I was a kid and the TV at home was an 11-inch black-and-white TV. I mean, you can get a 65-inch TV at Walmart for $130. There’s good quality out there and people are at home streaming in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It’s all changed.”

Ben continued, “And you know what? I knew it was changing before the pandemic hit with The Way Back. I remember feeling like, shit, I really love this movie, and no one’s going to see it. I could just tell; it’s not going to land in the theaters. People don’t want to go see dramas. Then the pandemic hit, and ironically, one of the first few films that was rushed to streaming was The Way Back, and people did see it. I said, ‘You know what? This isn’t bad.’ I would rather have people see this and watch it, and I don’t need to be stuck to the old ways [of doing business].”

“The theatrical experience is great, I love the theatrical experience, but the business has changed over time. First it was Vaudeville, and then silent pictures, and then the talkies, and then color, and the radio came out and everybody said it was going to kill movies. TV came out and everybody said it would kill movies. Every time it’s the same, people watch stories that move them in different ways [on different platforms]. I think that’s okay,” he then added.

Ben continued, “Actually, the good news is — and I don’t have the numbers in front of me right now — but I would strongly guess that people are watching more [content] now, and are consuming more. So, that’s a good thing and one of the reasons for it is that streamers are doing such great stuff. I mean, the content is spectacular. Succession? Spectacular! Ozark? Spectacular! When I started in this business, television, per se, was okay. It was serial programmers creating content and some of the shows were done great but they were still one thing and movies were trying to be art. That’s not the case anymore. You see shows on streaming that are just magnificent.”

Ben then ended, “A lot of the time, and I’m even guilty of this myself, I can lament it. I went to see one movie theatrically. That movie was Licorice Pizza. There are probably two or three directors, people like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, who have people saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to see two or three movies in the theater this year, I’ll go see theirs.’ I think you’re going to see 40 movies at least [released] each year now. When Gone Baby Gone came out [a 2007 film directed by Ben Affleck and starring Casey Affleck], there were something like 600 movies being released every year. We had seven movies debuting on the same weekend. It was really difficult, and I think maybe [The Last Duel] would’ve done better on streaming because the way [studios and streamers] have of identifying and marketing directly to people who like it is really effective. For God’s sake, think of this movie, [The Tender Bar], I mean, Amazon has an enormous reach. Everybody uses Amazon. They may be buying groceries, refrigerators, whatever, but they still use it and you can reach people that way. I think you have to adapt with the times or you risk becoming a dinosaur, as my children tell me.”

If you missed it, Ben also recently opened up about his split from Jennifer Garner.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Ben Affleck

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