There was a time, not that long ago, when it was easier than it is now to make a movie at modest cost, and maybe even turn a profit. But those days appear to be gone.
Young people nowadays seem to have no qualms about watching pirated downloads of new releases. If you try to question their ethics, they can just shrug and say “it’s all freely available”.
Which may account for the precipitous rise in recent years of the Hollywood special effects blockbuster.
The economic logic of these big budget films is unassailable: The only way to lure young people into theaters is to create visuals that are so spectacular, they need to be seen on a giant screen.
The one remaining defense against the attitude of “all films want to be free” is to make a movie that can’t really be seen at home.