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Matt Damon Reveals Why Indie Films Get Shut Out of Movie Theaters

These movies were once his "bread and butter."

“Jason Bourne”

Occasioned by the arrival of “Jason Bourne” in theaters this week, Matt Damon is discussing…the state of independent film. The actor, producer and screenwriter, who first came to international fame when he and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for their “Good Will Hunting” screenplay, bemoaned to Metro during an interview that “the movie, the $15-60million drama, is gone. They just don’t make that movie any more.”

READ MORE: READ MORE: ‘Jason Bourne’ Review: A Useless Sequel Makes the Case For Its Own Irrelevance

This is “a bummer” for Damon personally, as such projects were once his “bread and butter” but now find themselves relegated to TV. “There’s still work there, but the indie movies you’re talking about, yeah, they’re tough to find.” He points to the shrinking DVD market as one reason for the change, saying it “severely cut into the margins that studios would rather bet big on these big titles. And with this whole international audience, the more, you know, the simpler the story the more that it can kind of play, the less language matters so that the more broad appeal that it can play around the world, and that’s why you’re seeing the movies change.”

READ MORE: READ MORE: Watch: New Action-Packed ‘Jason Bourne’ Trailer Finds Matt Damon Rioting In Greece, Getting Reckless In Vegas

“Jason Bourne” and the entire franchise of which it’s a part is an example of this kind of movie, of course, but Damon’s indie credentials are hard to dispute — just this year he served as a producer on Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea.” Read the full interview at Metro.

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John Binder

Maybe Indie films get shut out of theaters because very popular actors like Matt Damon don’t appear in them after they become big stars and can make big bucks in orgies of violence like Mathew Bourne…

    Jason Turner

    Well said and completely agree. I too find it always ironic that these same actors who become big stars, bemoan the fate of indie films, find no time to appear in them. And lets not forget the agents/mgrs who control what scripts they ever see where their commissions come first over any quality indie project. They’d rather an actor hold out for that blockbuster role rather than have them appear in some small indie film. Such hypocrisy.


    Are you talking about a guy who stared 5 movies ago stared in a Terry Gilliam movie no one has seen and then played in a Soderbergh movie about Liberace?

    Yeah Matt Damon never plays in indies


Big name actors like Matt Damon would be able to appear in the $15-60m films he’s talking about because there would be a budget for them. The problem is that a $60m film needs to make $120m to break even most times because marketing costs are so high. And if they don’t invest in marketing no one will know about the film and it will fail. It’s a numbers game.


    Yeah but if you make a 30 million dollar movie starring Matt Damon that’s at least decent, it would easily make 60 million. At least it would if the movie seemed good/interesting which is what it should be about anyway


      Nope it wouldn’t. Not even the most popular actor can draw a movie if it’s uninteresting. On the other hand if the project is good it often needs mid trier actors to make it work. Ffs one of the biggest success stories of the year is Ryan Reynolds not showing his face.


Its funny coming from him, as even his “indie” movies were Oscar bait ones produced by the likes of Miramax and other bigwigs, hardly truly independent cinema, which luckily still gets made nowadays (for budgets even under 1mio – Tangerine etc), many great movies that are far more interesting than almost anything that Hollywood, big studios or superhero franchises can offer.


    But he isn’t complaning no <1 mil movies are made since THOSE ARE ACTUALLY MADE. The movies he is complaining about is the 90s type 15-60 mid budget drama/thriller so it is exactly what is often called Oscar Bait.

Richard B. James

When Damon Produces Lonergan and that’s accepted as Indie cred well therein lies the problem.


I realize that Indiewire is Indie in name only these days – having chosen to follow the click-bait of comic book movies and cable shoes – but since when do 15-60M movies qualify as indie?

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