Q. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas recently talked about the state of the movie business and how frustrated they are with it. ... It’s a recurrent theme — the crisis in film.
Joel Coen: It’s definitely harder now. On the other hand, I think you can exaggerate that, too, because the movie business in the United States, despite the sort of ups and downs of the economy, is still a very healthy business. And that healthy business is going to support — and it always has — a lot of niche moviemaking. More than you might expect it to, given the mentality. There’s still a lot of interesting stuff being made which is completely outside of the kind of trend that we’re describing, you know?
Ethan Coen: We’ve always actually been remarkably commercially successful. Not in terms of making huge amounts of money, which we rarely do, but in terms of not losing money and making modest amounts of money. We’re actually strangely consistent in that respect. We’ve been able to keep making movies because of that and also because, strangely, we’ve had studio patrons, starting from Barry Diller. Sometimes they're establishment people who know they’re not going to make huge amounts of money, but they like your movies. They’re moviegoers, too.
Joel: And mostly they’re making blockbusters, but when you get in a room with them, they go, “Go off and make your movie, and I’ll do it as long as I can’t get hurt too bad.”
|A movie executive|