2022: The Disappearance of Hollywood as We Know It
I've ranted about film's slow suicide (and will do more here), but TV's trend-lines and the stock prices of our overlords are also telling a story no one wants to hear
I had the notion to do a more upbeat, holiday spirit-sort-of-issue after a good run in the gloom and doom vein of late. I’ve been looking for shreds of evidence to contradict my sense that this weekly box office game of grabbing at straws is a harbinger of the end for the Studios As We Knew Them.
But every Sunday, reading the box office reports is like the record of a mass delusion; of a cult leader attempting to keep the acolytes calm and obedient while 10 feet away, the house goes up in flames.
Two years in, we’re still doing this dance every weekend – looking at what would be any standards heretofore a round of mediocre at best to horrendous results, and squinting, holding the paper up sideways, burning sage around it to declare – “Look! People want movies!” “The audiences will come charging back!” “They'll find the perfect balance between VOD and theatrical that will create a new virtuous circle!” “Once more product gets in to the market it will ignite a pent-up wave of moviegoing like nothing we’ve ever seen!”
And next summer, there’s going to be so many great movies, we’ll have to build extra emergency multiplexes to hold the spillover audiences! And then Bob and Terry and Michael Eisner will apparate on Melrose and grant unlimited charge accounts at the reopened Morton’s to everyone! And the assistants can go to Chaya!
It could happen. Anything’s possible. Unpredictable times.
But then I looked at the charts at the suggestion of a wise industry-savant friend. Herewith, the stock charts of the legacy studios and their corporate parents.
Okay, so stocks go up. Stocks go down. Why should we believe Wall Street's next- quarter mindset versus the all-seeing long-range, strategic genius of our great…studio leaders…whose vision...and...planning for....
See, that's where this train of thought choo choo's right off the cliff.