Martin Scorsese Says Hollywood's Obsession With Box Office Numbers Is "Repulsive"

"I always find it really insulting."


Acclaimed Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese has said he is no fan of Hollywood's incessant focus on box office figures and numbers, saying it's "repulsive" and "really insulting."

Speaking at the New York Film Festival this week, Scorsese said (via IndieWire), "Cinema is devalued, demeaned, belittled from all sides, not necessarily the business side but certainly the art."

The Goodfellas director said talking about the budget of a film is one thing, but the focus on box office figures is what grinds his gears.

"Since the '80s, there's been a focus on numbers. It's kind of repulsive," he said. "The cost of a movie is one thing. Understand that a film costs a certain amount, they expect to at least get the amount back, plus, again. The emphasis is now on numbers, cost, the opening weekend, how much it made in the U.S.A., how much it made in England, how much it made in Asia, how much it made in the entire world, how many viewers it got."

He added: "As a filmmaker, and as a person who can't imagine life without cinema, I always find it really insulting."

Scorsese is known for making headline-grabbing statements about the film industry. Before this, he said Marvel movies are like amusement parks and are "not cinema."

Scorsese has been directing feature films since the 1970s, so he's in a unique position having seen the film business evolve over time. Some of his most famous movies included Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Goodfellas, and The Wolf of Wall Street. He won an Oscar for 2006's The Departed.

His 2019 mobster movie, The Irishman, broke from tradition and was released on Netflix. His next movie, Killers of the Flower Moon, will have a streaming debut too on Apple TV+.

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