Never have superheroes, franchises, remakes, reboots, sequels and extended universes ever been so present or attracted so many spectators. But if behind the enormous figures of these big machines hid the first symptoms of an unprecedented hollywood crisis?
The smell of dollar in the morning
When in 2013, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg evoke a future “implosion” of the economy of mainstream cinema, the industry and moviegoers listen to them with attention. Proof that the subject is sensitive, producers, journalists and filmmakers will comment for months this position of two masters of blockbusters (which they almost invented), whether to abound in their sense or severely criticize this prediction .
Let’s take 2015 as an example. 2015 saw the most commercial licenses reign on the box office, causing torrential rains of dollars. Fast & Furious 7, Avengers: Ultron’s Era and Jurassic World have gone well over $ 1 billion, while others more “modest” like 50 Shades of Gray or The Minions have amassed hundreds of millions of dollars. And yet …
Panic on board?
And if Disney unquestionably leads the race, thanks to the worldwide successes of Captain America, Star Wars or its Jungle Book, the recycling industry has coughed and suffered a nasty outbreak of fever since the beginning of 2016. Very simple, almost all the sequels with large budgets, on which the studios put their faith in crashed violently.
The Hunter and the Queen of Ice, Zoolander 2, Ninja Turtles 2 (on American soil), Divergent 3, Protest 2, Alice in Wonderland 2, Our Worst Neighbors 2 and Ghostly Wizards have greatly disappointed. Whether it is a continuation of cult film or a continuation of success, the public seems for the first time to lose massive interest in repeated sequels.
More worrying for Hollywood, even some successes are disappointing or insufficient given the sums invested by the studios. Batman Vs Superman, despite a score that more humble productions would envy, will not have reached the one billion international and not even the 350 million dollars on the American ground, a performance very short of the projections of Warner who relied on the film to project his collection of DC blockbusters into orbit.
And the summer continued in the catastrophic vein. Without being a total fail, Tarzan disappointed, The Big Giant Giant proved to be the worst movie of Spielberg’s summer and career, while Star Trek starts much weaker than the previous two episodes and a Ben Hur, that much of the audience mocks nicely.
Netflix for the win
What the MPAA report tells us is that most consumers of cinema and fiction in general now pass massively through mobile applications and bundles such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon (And of course, downloads).
The interest for the cinema, and the blockbusters, does not dry up, it moves. We thus witness almost what was described just three years ago by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. An enormous embolism of the production, become too expensive, transformed into a liner impossible to maneuver for studios which risk more and more to undergo phenomenal losses.
One thing is certain, the industry looks at these data with a worried eye. To guess it, it is enough to see that the media, openly favorable to the studios and industry, and certainly not wanting to see it break the figure (The Hollywood Reporter, The Atlantic, Variety, etc) relay these data and share them .
It remains to be seen whether Hollywood is faced with an ugly cough, or a large tuberculosis, or even a resistant bacterium, poorly treated with low-end generic productions.
What do you think of this crisis in the film industry? Tell us in the comments down below !