Hollywood Watches the Eyeballs Drift Away
Amid the Taylor Tsunami, four winners keep the flame for filmed entertainment
Another week in the new new Hollywood‚ production shut down, talks fallen apart, and what excitement entertainment generates is about going to a film that has nothing to do with Hollywood.
In theory, this should be Hollywood's moment of triumph. A little over a decade ago, an invention came along that led most of the people on the planet to carry around screens — the platform through which Hollywood operates — everywhere with them, capable of streaming entertainment at any moment. All the time. Go into restaurants, waiting rooms, ride an escalator! What are people doing when they have a second of free time? Not talking to each other certainly. They are staring at their screens.
Hollywood is the King of Screens. Back pre-digital when screens existed basically in two places, in theaters and in the living room, Hollywood was pretty much all you could see on screens. (Plus sports, but setting that aside.) And why would you have wanted to see anything else?
Fast forward to... say the last week. Screens are everywhere, and Hollywood's latest products are nowhere to be found on them. The world is glued to horrific raw video from the Mideast and, except for a few pockets of aging cable news afficionados, getting their news about unfolding events from TikTok and YouTube.
The cultural conversation is overwhelmed by the ongoing Taylor Tsunami, now dominating a theater (or NFL game) near you, so fully that film studios yanked back their products to avoid being crushed in Swift's wake. And as to not leave any doubt, the now supplicant studios cut new bespoke trailers to address “Swifties” by name to be shown before The Eras Tour. (Also, anyone who calls a $90 million opening weekend for a concert film a disappointment needs to get a life). Needless to remind you, Hollywood gets bupkus from this happening.
And with Hollywood now approaching a half year of shut down, next summer's film releases and the spring TV season (for the five or 10 people out there who still know what that is) are in dire threat.