There’s A Reason Movies Are So Long These Days, If Yr Curious Why Yr Bladder’s Being Tested

I’m just gonna say it: movies these days are SO BLOODY LONG, and my peanut-sized bladder can’t take it.

Christopher Nolan‘s newly released Oppenheimer comes in at three hours. Martin Scorsese‘s Western Killers of the Flower Moon (intended for an October 2023 release) cuts close to three and a half. And don’t get me started on any sort of superhero movie, which can set you back half a workday (Snyder Cut, I’m looking at you).

Even the live-action The Little Mermaid was almost an hour longer than the OG 1989 version, which might be fine for an adult, but if you’re a kiddo with a short attention span, good luck making it until the end.

While the RunPee app graces us with the knowledge of the best time to dash to the loo during any given movie, I’ve still been on Struggle Street as the average flick creeps up in runtime.

Now, the good folk over at Vanity Fair have done some much-needed digging into why this is, and apparently, it’s got a lot to do with producers. Or, a lack thereof.

“Producers have gotten so short,” a top Hollywood agent told the outlet. “The ability to work hand-in-glove with a world-class director to shape a movie, very few producers possess that skill or willingness today.”

Michael Shamberg, who produced Erin Brockovich, also argued that people want bang for their buck when venturing out to see a movie, rather than settling for something on one of the many streaming services.

“Casual moviegoing, where you wait until the weekend to pick what to see, has pretty much been supplanted by streaming,” he explained.

“Now when you leave your house to pay to see a movie, you want an emotional sure thing for your time and effort. You also want a bigger experience than streaming a movie in your living room.” Understandable, considering an average movie ticket can set you back a whopping $25.

Then there’s the fact that a bunch of blockbuster hits (and Oscar winners) are lengthy AF, for which we apparently have James Cameron to thank.

“He has proven that you can make hugely successful, global sensations that are three-hour films and people will come to the box office,” music video director Grant Singer told Vanity Fair.

So, how have movie runtimes evolved over the years?

In 2002, the average length of the top 20 box office performers was a quick one hour and 59 minutes. 20 years on, we’re copping an extra 13 minutes of content on average.

Wowzers. I guess I’ll skip out on that large Coke next time I hit the cinema.

Image: Universal