Survive till 25

The current mantra of Hollywood iterates a sense of optimism that I honestly don’t think exists with their current strategy. Look back at 2023, a big year for films:

It’s not Hero fatigue (in fact I’m just going to call this mediocre movie fatigue, which yeah, we’re tired of mediocre movies.). It’s not just streaming services. It’s not just the strikes. It’s not just pandemic fears. It’s D all of the above. Hollywood is going through a massive contraction. They lost money during the pandemic, then they lost money on chasing streaming, then projects got stalled, then everyone else thought to themselves why go and see a bad movie when it’s going to be streaming in a few weeks.”

However, as time mercilessly marches forward, people paid much more than I think that money is gonna start flowing.

I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel

Honestly, just go check out /r/boxoffice and you’ll see the warped perception success”. We’re talking making 3x the cost at a minimum, but how are films supposed to make money when there’s no incentive to see them in theaters? How are studios making money driving people to a platform that are largely loss leaders?

Money ain’t cheap these days and people are tightening their purse strings so maybe that $30 ticket + drinks can be saved by staying home with a half decent tv and sound bar. And yes, even though advertisements help - people are pissed that they’re back.

The old model has long been obsolete, but Hollywood hasn’t found the new one.

Memorial Day Extravaganza

If it was just mediocre movie fatigue, what happened this Memorial Day? Furiosa isn’t a mediocre movie. I think George RR Martin’s exert from his blog summarizes the responses well.

I understand that FURIOSA has not done nearly was hoped, so maybe Miller will never get to make another Mad Max film. That would be a pity, I think. Whether set in the Great Red Center or the ruins of Melbourne, regardless of which characters it featured, I suspect Max VI would have splendid action scenes. No one does that better than Miller.

Of course, the issue isn’t that only Furiosa was doing poorly, the whole weekend was the worst in history. Furiosa opened with Garfield and was nearly beaten by the CGI orange tabby, which made over 3 times its budget as time went on. Meanwhile, Furiosa is going to lose around 50 million to 100 million.

A big box office doesn’t indicate good art. It is, however, what studios use to make more movies and fill their pockets. It’s why we’re in a never ending world of sequels, reboots, and other existing IPs. It is a safe bet to make money.

No, your cell phone isn’t enough to watch Lawrence of Arabia, but it is enough for TikTok

I’m going to try not to get too bogged down on this but the co-CEO of Netflix Ted Sarandos argued that the big movies of last year (Barbie and Oppenheimer) would’ve done just as well on Netflix cause his editor son watched Lawrence of Arabia on his phone. I’m shocked to learn that the son of a CEO doesn’t have a better screen within arm’s distance. Come on Ted! Buy the boy a flat screen!

Sorry, the point is that Netflix is a different animal. They play by the VC funded Silicon Valley rules and not the LA Studio rules. Like I said, chasing Netflix down the rabbit hole is partially to blame for the predicament we find our selves in.

Ted’s comment is more like a virtue signal to investors. Netflix wants you to pay them the privilege of watching Lawrence of Arabia on your phone because that’s where Silicon Valley competes. When you habitually pick up your phone, they are looking to compete with TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube, where thousands of hours of attention sucking content is algorithmically fed to you.

However, I think an important distinction should be made: while Netflix has to compete with paramedia” while Hollywood chooses too.

Honestly, I don’t know why they do. Take The Fall Guy a movie with a star-studded cast and 4 quadrant appeal should’ve done quite well. Instead, we have a flop that was put on streaming 2 weeks after release. TWO WEEKS. Screen Crush has anice article to read for more context but essentially, it was doing fine but would need a long run to make a profit. Instead, you can now buy the movie from Apple (with an extended cut option so you know, why even bother going to the movies.)

If someone tells you that they want more original ideas in Hollywood, demand to see their The Fall Guy ticket stub because this was the movie for them. No I don’t have one. IT CAME OUT ON STREAMING BEFORE I EVEN HEARD IT WAS OUT. I don’t get advertisements much these days. Sure, my fun money has been going towards other things. But it was still a decision that I and many other movie goers have to make. It also is a decision that not all are privileged to make.

Posted on June 21, 2024

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