Matt Damon says phone-obsessed youngsters no longer watch films properly

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Matt Damon stars as Bill in Stillwater
Matt Damon stars as Bill in Stillwater

Hollywood star Matt Damon has complained that young people no longer watch films properly after seeing his children playing with their phones instead of looking at the big screen.

The 50-year-old actor voiced his dismay at the state of the industry amid criticism of his latest film, Stillwater, which is based on the case of Amanda Knox, an American who was convicted and later cleared of murdering British student Meredith Kercher.

Damon, whose films are estimated to have grossed nearly $4 billion (£2.9 billion), warned that making films for the big screen is in decline, as home streaming dominates the entertainment landscape.

Interviewed by the Sunday Times, he admitted he was baffled by their behaviour.

'How can you watch a movie if you are texting?'

“The way they watch is different to how we did,” he said. “How can you watch a movie if you are texting? As someone who makes these things I can’t say I love that. Movies as we know them aren’t going to be a thing in our kids’ lives. And that makes me sad.”

For decades the cinema industry relied on two streams of revenue: box office takings and the sale of DVDs.

The sale of DVDs has plummeted with the growing popularity of home streaming.

To lure patrons into the cinema and protect box office sales, studios have made films with “international” appeal, removing any local nuances, Damon said.

“It made the most profitable movie, one that could travel around the world.

“And if you want a movie to travel and play big you want the least amount of cultural confusion.

“So there is the rise of the superhero movie, right? They’re easy for everyone. You know who the good person is, who the bad person is.

“They fight three times and the good person wins twice.”

Damon’s latest film is Stillwater in which he plays an Oklahoman oil worker fighting to free his daughter who has been wrongly imprisoned for murder in France.

Backed by a confederation of financiers, Damon said the film was a “story about real people, broken and trying to repair their lives.

Ms Knox, now 34, has attacked the film on Twitter, accusing the creators of profiting from her name and story.

"Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in?” she wrote.

“I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, and story without my consent."

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