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Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

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Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Old 01-04-22, 12:18 PM
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Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

I've been reading the various franchise threads and there's obviously a sentiment of the current slate of films ranging from "pretty OK" to "terrible".
  • "The Matrix Resurrections wasn't innovative"
  • "The MCU is overly formulaic"
  • "I'm tired of Batman"
  • "The new Star Wars movies are worse than the Prequels"
While obviously everyone is entitled to an opinion (especially whether or not they like a movie), and I can definitely understand some of the above viewpoints, I was curious about how things changed in the past couple decades. I fully admit it was the reaction to the new Matrix movie that made me think about this, and that time period seemed to be the last period where franchises didn't completely dominate the landscape (you could say the period from about 1997 until 2002-ish, with the release of Spider-Man).

One thing I was interested in was just how much more media we have to take in and process, to the point where it's perhaps skewing our perceptions and reactions.
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/year/
In the above, you can see a pretty steady trend of theatrical release growth.
  • 1990: 236
  • 2000: 439
  • 2010: 651
  • 2019: 911
That's not counting streaming-only releases, which would significantly inflate more recent numbers.
I've heard various factors about this sort of inundation and numbness and I wanted to hear some opinions from you all.

Some factors:
  • The improvement in video games. 20 years ago, the best videogames were probably considered what? FFVII? Ocarina of Time? Halo? Which feel quaint, now. And the medium has also seen increasing "cinematization", where they try to be more like movies in many regards.
  • The consolidation of media. Most studios are now owned by larger parent telecommunication corporations, who make in excess of $100B a year, so they're more prone to encouraging studios to make only billion-dollar grossers. They're more interested in absolute ROI, rather than relative. ie. They'd rather make a $200M film that makes $800M profit, than a $50M film that makes $350M profit.
  • The "Take Machine". There's a lot of media outlets online and most of them are essentially content mills. It spans from social media to entertainment-oriented sites, requiring constant output. "X great movie actually has giant plotholes. Y awful movie is actually great. Et cetera." This in turn encourages response articles/videos, defensiveness, and that everybody have an opinion on every piece of media that is either "best/worst thing ever"

Last edited by IBJoel; 01-04-22 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-04-22, 12:30 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

To answer your question Yes. I'll elaborate more in a later post.
Old 01-04-22, 12:41 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

If it is older folks being jaded, it wouldn't matter much. (ie. Get off my lawn! ).

If it is younger folks being already jaded, that is a whole entirely different matter.
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Old 01-04-22, 12:42 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

No, we just have more options so there are fewer reasons to spend 30+ on two tickets (not counting and food, babysitters, etc.) to see a movie that is more suited to stream on Netflix or VOD instead. Which is why we have nothing but blockbusters now - those are the only films that justify a trip to the theater for a vast majority of the audience.

And I agree with this - only a Marvel movie can get me into the theater at this point. Nothing else is worth the money to see opening weekend. Especially if they are getting released at home within a month or two.
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Old 01-04-22, 12:43 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
  • "The MCU is overly formulaic"
In response to this one, I will say "Avengers - Infinity War" was definitely not superhero formulaic (the ending). But of course, that's just one MCU movie, but I'm still amazed at how that movie ended. It broke the superhero movie formula.
Old 01-04-22, 12:49 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post

Some factors:
  • The consolidation of media. Most studios are now owned by larger parent telecommunication corporations, who make in excess of $100B a year, so they're more prone to encouraging studios to make only billion-dollar grossers. They're more interested in absolute ROI, rather than relative. ie. They'd rather make a $200M film that makes $800M profit, than a $50M film that makes $350M profit.
To me, this is a major factor. If you do a venn diagram with arts and business, the intersection is miniscule. The corporations are going to focus on profits above all else. That leads them to cater the entertainment to the largest segment of people in order to get the most ticket sales. And sadly, the people on here who care about good plots, development, cinematography, etc are a minority. Most people have short attention spans and want to see fast action and explosions.

The business itself has also changed a lot. Up until the 1980s, pretty much the only way a film made money was through ticket sales and merchandise sales for the ones with good IP. Then you had the home video revolution where studios could make money selling Laserdiscs, VHS, DVD, Blu Ray. Now we're seeing physical media shrinking and a larger focus on streaming. Streaming itself just has a completely different demographic, where movies are made with a different target audience. A lot of them are essentially disposable where the only goal is to increase subscriber growth, and not direct ROI.

I've also seen a lot of criticisms of Hollywood over the "wokeness" being pushed in movies. There's obviously a large contingent of people out there that believe that the stories they're seeing are all being curated and pushed out to push an agenda that they don't agree with.

Last edited by John Galt; 01-04-22 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 01-04-22, 12:55 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
To me, this is a major factor. If you do a venn diagram with arts and business, the intersection is miniscule. The corporations are going to focus on profits above all else. That leads them to cater the entertainment to the largest segment of people in order to get the most ticket sales. And sadly, the people on here who care about good plots, development, cinematography, etc are a minority. Most people have short attention spans and want to see fast action and explosions.
(On a tangent).

Many years/decades ago, I would have said stories with good plots, development, etc ... were done better as books.

Unfortunately with my shorter attention span and a decline in writing quality, I can no longer say books are better at having good plots, development, etc ....
Old 01-04-22, 01:10 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

I think post 1990 any critic that saids a film is derivative or unoriginal really needs to watch more films. The entire history of filmmaking by the last decade of the 20th century could not be charchterised any other way than derivative and unoriginal. If it isn't coming directly from the medium itself, then it's some other artform that's being pilfered for a film. Of course there is a spectrum of artistic pilfering. It's not unique to film though, it's true of all art.

What blinds us consumers to it most of the time is story and character. Sometimes the themes, subtext. But not everyone gives a shit about that.

The problem in Hollywood is not the lack of talent, but that it's become so risk adverse after the 2008 crash. They've been more focused on building their portfolios of bankable IPs, or reviving older IPs than making new IPs because, more than likely,financiers just aren't willing to give out 200 million dollars without far great assurances of a return on their investment. You can argue with the effects this has on the artistry of the films that are being produced, but the bussiness thinking behind it is rocksolid. Why change it? The end consumer is certainly not rejecting the product..

Every once and a while we will get the likes of say Joker which is an easy sell even if it's a much less conventional film. Your asking 30 million for a production about a character with a solid track record of commercial success. Sold. We don't care what the film is.

Here's a video with a sort of similar take.

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Old 01-04-22, 01:15 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Martin Scorsese was right!
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Old 01-04-22, 01:20 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Martin Scorsese was right!
Oh come on spice it up a bit. Fine, i'll do it.

Schrader is a better director.

Now who want's a fight?
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Old 01-04-22, 01:24 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

The rare new IP successes have come from the streaming world, mainly because they're not held to a box office.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:25 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
No, we just have more options so there are fewer reasons to spend 30+ on two tickets (not counting and food, babysitters, etc.) to see a movie that is more suited to stream on Netflix or VOD instead. Which is why we have nothing but blockbusters now - those are the only films that justify a trip to the theater for a vast majority of the audience.

And I agree with this - only a Marvel movie can get me into the theater at this point. Nothing else is worth the money to see opening weekend. Especially if they are getting released at home within a month or two.
Something I didn't cover in my post, but related to your point is that too much choice may actually be actually stressful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice
Old 01-04-22, 01:28 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
The rare new IP successes have come from the streaming world, mainly because they're not held to a box office.
Would you say those are more serialized/"television" oriented? Like Stranger Things, The Boys, Emily in Paris, etc?
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Old 01-04-22, 01:32 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
Something I didn't cover in my post, but related to your point is that too much choice may actually be actually stressful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice
I had this exact issue even back in the vhs era.

Many times I went to a local video rental store, and walked out not renting out any movie. I couldn't decide on what to watch.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:35 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
I had this exact issue even back in the vhs era.

Many times I went to a local video rental store, and walked out not renting out any movie. I couldn't decide on what to watch.
That was me in my 20s with a 2000 DVD collection. Id spend over an hour just trying to decide on a movie to watch, only to realize it was now too late to start and I only had time to watch a couple episodes of a tv show. Then the next night I wasnt in the mood for whatever I chose the night before and it started again.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:36 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
And I agree with this - only a Marvel movie can get me into the theater at this point. Nothing else is worth the money to see opening weekend. Especially if they are getting released at home within a month or two.
Why is this exactly? Is it just to be part of the conversation that first week (because let's be honest, that's about as long as it lasts)? Is it about the serialization and needing to know how the movie ties in with the previous and/or sets up the next one before you get spoiled? Is it because special effects demand a larger screen? Or is it that Marvel has churned enough of these out at this point that you know exactly what you're going to get and know you won't be disappointed?

I'm honestly curious, because I have friends who feel the same way, but no matter how much they claim to love going to the theater, it's still the only stuff they actually see. And I don't think anyone would say Marvel is the only company that makes good movies. Well maybe a few people would, but no one that actually counts. 😃

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Old 01-04-22, 01:38 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Absolutely,


I bet most here will say no however...




Old 01-04-22, 01:46 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

One thing that has contributed to this is the Internet has made EVERYONE believe they're a Published Critic who should be listened too.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:47 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by IBJoel View Post
Would you say those are more serialized/"television" oriented? Like Stranger Things, The Boys, Emily in Paris, etc?
I would say so because it tends to hold a viewer's attention a lot more. And their accessibility. Especially in the last two years.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:52 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
To me, this is a major factor. If you do a venn diagram with arts and business, the intersection is miniscule. The corporations are going to focus on profits above all else. That leads them to cater the entertainment to the largest segment of people in order to get the most ticket sales. And sadly, the people on here who care about good plots, development, cinematography, etc are a minority. Most people have short attention spans and want to see fast action and explosions.

I love reminding people it's called Show BUSINESS for a reason. And that unfortunately, all the "Artistic Integrity" stuff people care about doesn't matter to high paid Execs calling the shots in Media.

I've also seen a lot of criticisms of Hollywood over the "wokeness" being pushed in movies. There's obviously a large contingent of people out there that believe that the stories they're seeing are all being curated and pushed out to push an agenda that they don't agree with.
Yeah well, when it was "Straight White Men and The US of A are the greatest things of Earth!!!"...all the Wokeness/Agenda to that mindset in films was just fine and dandy. Now that others are being seen...suddenly people hate Wokeness/Agendas. I mean it's pretty clear when you see who bitch about wokeness the most what the real issue is.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:56 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Personally, I don't care a bit for the woke-ness movies (and TV shows) are forcing down our throat and I sure as hell don't want to hear an actor's opinion about politics... so yeah, I'm a bit jaded these days. Compound that with Covid and that most movies will be streaming in two months and I'll gladly take my team getting to the few movies I actually care to see.
Old 01-04-22, 02:02 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
I love reminding people it's called Show BUSINESS for a reason. And that unfortunately, all the "Artistic Integrity" stuff people care about doesn't matter to high paid Execs calling the shots in Media.



Yeah well, when it was "Straight White Men and The US of A are the greatest things of Earth!!!"...all the Wokeness/Agenda to that mindset in films was just fine and dandy. Now that others are being seen...suddenly people hate Wokeness/Agendas. I mean it's pretty clear when you see who bitch about wokeness the most what the real issue is.
Originally Posted by Rob V View Post
Personally, I don't care a bit for the woke-ness movies (and TV shows) are forcing down our throat and I sure as hell don't want to hear an actor's opinion about politics... so yeah, I'm a bit jaded these days. Compound that with Covid and that most movies will be streaming in two months and I'll gladly take my team getting to the few movies I actually care to see.
Not to derail, but it's too bad we can't go back to the maverick cinema of the 70s and all those truly great, revolutionary movies that were anti-war, pro-free-love, anti-racist, and stuff like that.
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Old 01-04-22, 02:03 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
I would say so because it tends to hold a viewer's attention a lot more. And their accessibility. Especially in the last two years.
It appears Netflix and their producers/writers have figured out the tv equivalent of a "bf skinner box" or "slot machine", in regard to addictive behavior.

https://behavioralscientist.org/21st...y-skinner-box/
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Old 01-04-22, 02:05 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
Why is this exactly? Is it just to be part of the conversation that first week (because let's be honest, that's about as long as it lasts)? Is it about the serialization and needing to know how the movie ties in with the previous and/or sets up the next one before you get spoiled? Is it because special effects demand a larger screen? Or is it that Marvel has churned enough of these out at this point that you know exactly what you're going to get and know you won't be disappointed?
Spoilers is a big one. I HATE spoilers. We were supposed to see No Way Home opening weekend but had to reschedule when my daughter got COVID so it wasn't until the following Friday when we could go. It was brutal dodging those all week. And I consistently love Marvel movies post Dark World so if I'm going to spend a lot of money on a night at the theater, I'm going to do it for those movies. I'm not taking risks anymore - I can (and often do) blind-buy something digitally for $19.99, which is cheaper than two tickets to see it in the theater AND I own it. I just can't justify spending more than $30 to see some random movie in the theater I may or may not like.

And I love the spectacle - I was a huge Marvel comics fan back in the 80s and 90s but the movies were sorely lacking. Seeing what used to be impossible brought to life is the best kind of nostalgia for me.
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Old 01-04-22, 02:14 PM
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Re: Has the business of Hollywood made audiences jaded?

Originally Posted by Rob V View Post
Personally, I don't care a bit for the woke-ness movies (and TV shows) are forcing down our throat and I sure as hell don't want to hear an actor's opinion about politics... so yeah, I'm a bit jaded these days.
Let's leave the second part of that out of the conversation because it's a different issue. I want to talk about the "wokeness" of projects. Because I hear that complaint a lot and I don't really get it. Times change, opinions and views change, shouldn't movies change with them? I agree that maybe I don't want to be lectured to when going to a movie, but a certain amount of cultural sensitivity and greater representation in films? I'm fine with that. When you don't get some degree of it you can end up with something like Licorice Pizza, a movie that I otherwise loved, but had a really cringe-worthy Asian joke that might have been appropriate for the time the film is set but just sticks out like an uncomfortable sore thumb now. If that sort of thing is the opposite of "woke", I don't want it. Plenty of older films just seem dated because we view issues of race, gender and sexuality differently (or at least we should). That's just evolving.
When I hear a complaint that Spielberg's West Side Story is too "woke", I don't really know how to respond to that. The Puerto Ricans now have jobs and family lives and sometimes speak to each other in their native tongues, nobody is acting in brownface, a few changes were made after speaking with people in the Puerto Rican community (like discovering that even Puerto Ricans who love America don't want their native island to sink into the sea). Those sort of changes just seem appropriate if you are going to remake a film like that. I don't know how or why people find those sort of changes some sort of an affront to their sensibilities.
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