This, to me personally, might be the single most horrifying trend of 2011.
Lately, everyone is talking about the decline of the movie industry. There aren’t as many viewers heading to the multiplexes. There aren’t as many DVD sales. There just doesn’t seem to be as much interest. People in my industry are FREAKING out. There are a million excuses, theories, and blames, but to me it’s simple. The film industry is losing the largest component of what made it so huge in the first place — its imagination.
The movie business has always been just that — a business. Let’s not forget that up front. But… it has changed. Once all the major studios were bought and taken over by larger conglomerates, it become less about its core foundation of ideas and originality, and more about only one thing and one thing only — the bottom line. It’s sad really. I could honestly talk for pages and pages and PAGES about this subject, but I’ll try and be succinct. This is what’s happening. Movie studios are now traded publicly. Stock prices are involved. Since stock prices are more important than actual product sometimes, it’s more about what shareholders will find “exciting.” These shareholders usually have no clue about the industry itself. They know what they know. This is why you are seeing more sequels, remakes, and reboots than ever. If at a shareholder meeting they talk about their new slate of product, and no one has heard of any of it, the shareholders get scared. Fear takes hold, and they run. Thus, the stock drops. BUT, if they announce, hey, we’re going to have Scream 4, Transformers 8, and another reboot of Batman! That’s when the shareholders go, “hey, I’ve heard of those! The first ones made money, these surely will too!” And thus, the stocks go up. This is a main reason why the horrifying trend continues. Fear vs Comfort, and stock prices. I know this may seem very meager in its explanation, but without setting fire to my fingertips typing a novel, it’ll have to do.
This is one of the main reasons Hollywood is losing it’s imagination, and nothing new is being put out there. It’s truly horrifying to me. But guess what, audiences are getting more savvy. They know when they’re bored of the same old, same old… THIS is why there is a decline in sales. THIS is why there’s a decline in attendance. Stop blaming new media, piracy, and a million other things. It all bears down to QUALITY. If Hollywood made more quality, original, and fresh movies with the same budgets that they throw at the remakes and sequels, we’d be in another heyday of moviemaking. But sadly, it’s not the creative types behind the wheel. It’s the suits. I’ll give you an example. Look at Inception from last year. Not everyone may have liked it, but it was original, fresh and new. And it actually had a huge budget behind it and big stars. Guess what happened? 800 million dollars worldwide and 8 Academy Award noms. Point, set, match.
Look Hollywood. Stop bitching about it and fix the problem. Return to a place where imagination and originality holds sway. We as fans want it. We crave it.
And we will pay you heartily for it.