Surprisingly, it seems as if movie audiences sort of have a tolerance toward long movies.
For the past two weekends the latest Transformers sequel Age of Extinction, which clocks in at 165 minutes (or two hours and 45 minutes) has been the number one movie in the world despite being a joyless and forgettable blockbuster. Films like Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King are nearly four hours long, but are considered among the best movies of all time and have also made a ton of money.
The success of these long films reveals that audiences are willing to spend a lot of their time if they believe they’ll like the movie. However, is there a limit to a movie’s running time?
The Film Stage broke the news July 7 that Swedish filmmaker Anders Weberg is currently shooting the documentary Ambiencé. The catch? The film will not be released until December 2020, but the first teaser trailer has been released. The trailer is 72 minutes long.
Oh yeah, did I mention that the movie is 720 hours long?
Once the movie is released it will become the longest movie of all time, breaking the record held by the 2011 Danish documentary Modern Times Forever, which clocked in at a measly 240 hours.
The film, which according to Weberg’s blog is dedicated to his son, has currently shot about 280 hours worth of footage. Admittedly, Weberg’s release plan is intriguing. According to The Film Stage, this trailer is only available until July 20 but a 7-hour and 20-minute trailer will be released in 2016. A second trailer, clocking in at 72 hours, will be released in 2018. Ambiancé will then be screened once, and only once, on all seven continents at the same time in 2020. Afterwards, it will be destroyed, followed by Weberg’s retirement from filmmaking.
The trailer, which is composed of several abstract images (rainy car rides, dancing ballerinas, flying birds, etc.) as music plays in the background, hints that the movie will be either an emotional experience that viewers will get or the epitome of pretentious art house movies.
So, what I want to know is, are you as viewers willing to watch a 30-day long movie? How would you go about it? Would you call your boss or your professors to tell them “Hey, sorry but I’m going to be gone for a month watching a movie. Is that OK with you?”
Obviously, too much of a good thing can be bad, so not everyone will be willing to watch a movie as long as Ambiancé. So if you’re not willing to spend 30 days watching one movie,then what’s the longest running time for a movie you can think of that you wouldn’t mind spending?
Just for fun, let’s also include film series.
For example, would you spend 9 hours on a movie? AKA the amount of time you’d spend by watching The Godfather trilogy in one sitting? Twelve hours, the approximate length of watching the extended cuts of The Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back? Or 20 hours, the amount of time you’d spent in bingeing on all eight Harry Potter movies?
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