Martin Scorsese calls box office reporting ‘repulsive’

The Irishman director Martin Scorsese sounded off on reporting movie box office returns during a panel, calling the practice “repulsive”.

Martin Scorsese has slammed the film industry’s obsession with box office takings.

During an appearance at the New York Film Festival for the premiere of his documentary Personality Crisis: One Night Only, the Raging Bull director said he didn’t like the focus on how much money a film has made.

He told the crowd he didn’t approve of how box office figures are treated as the only indicator of a film’s quality or success.

“Since the ’80s, there’s been a focus on numbers. It’s kind of repulsive,” Scorsese said on Wednesday, reports IndieWire. “The cost of a movie is one thing. Understand that a film costs a certain amount, they (the studio) expect to at least get the amount back.”

He continued, “The emphasis is now on numbers, cost, the opening weekend, how much it made in the USA, 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. As a filmmaker, and as a person who can’t imagine life without cinema, I always find it really insulting.”

The Irishman director also praised the festival for championing filmmaking when “cinema is devalued, demeaned, belittled from all sides, not necessarily the business side but certainly the art”.

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