Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an "implosion" in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next—or even before then—will be price variances at movie theaters, where "you're gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you're probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln." He also said that Lincoln came "this close" to being an HBO movie instead of a theatrical release.
George Lucas agreed that massive changes are afoot, including film exhibition morphing somewhat into a Broadway play model, whereby fewer movies are released, they stay in theaters for a year and ticket prices are much higher. His prediction prompted Spielberg to recall that his 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrialstayed in theaters for a year and four months.