Ben Affleck has been discussing the changing landscape of the film industry with The Playlist and is feeling pragmatic about people watching his films at home. He also says that he is no longer interested in ‘IP movies,’ which of course, includes the DCEU.
Affleck has appeared in two adult dramas within a three month period – Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, which was released on October 15 and did not perform well at the box office, and the upcoming The Tender Bar, which will be available on Prime Video on January 7 after a small theatrical release.
“You have to adapt to the changing times. I mean, this business has changed, right? You had vaudeville, silent movies, talkies, colour. Then there was television. It’s continued to evolve and change,” Affleck said.
“I had this with The Way Back [which was one of the last theatrical releases before things started to shut down in early March 2020]. No one was going to go see that movie in the theatre. I could just feel it. I love the movie. It’s a good drama. That audience was like, ‘We want to stream it. We’re not going to rush out and see it.”
Affleck continues; “People rushing out to see movies that first weekend…is mostly young people who just want to get out of the house. But there is a big and growing audience for these interesting adult dramas. But that audience now has been acculturated, especially with COVID and with the streamers and the quality, and they want to watch it at home.”
“They don’t care [about seeing it in a theatre]. They want to be able to pause it, take a leak, watch the rest tomorrow. And you can get a good 65-inch flat screen for $180 at Walmart. It’s kind of democratised that access because it’s not the 11-inch black and white that I had when I was a kid. Television means something different.”
Speaking of The Last Duel (which Affleck co-wrote) and IP properties, Affleck said; “And once that happened [the box office failure] with The Last Duel, I thought, ‘Well, that’s probably the last theatrical release I’ll have.’ Because I don’t want to do IP movies where you have this sort of built-in audience. That’s something I was interested in and liked, and I just don’t like anymore. If you are going to do it, you should love it. And I love something different. So, I want to do that.”
Speaking of The Tender Bar, Affleck said; “Really, what’s important to me is that people see it. I mean, The Tender Bar is in a limited theatrical release, and that’s great. I know that 90% of people are going to see it on Amazon, and I want them to see it. I want them to see the movie. That’s more important to me.”
Many critics are campaigning for Ben Affleck to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Last Duel. If you’re interested in adult dramas such as The Way Back, The Last Duel and The Tender Bar, check out our guide to the best drama movies.