"At this point it's hard to say whether Hollywood's woes are due to changing media consumption trends like cord cutting and streaming, the general decline in storytelling afflicting more and more films, or a preference cascade away from Tinseltown as normal people make the healthy decision not to give any more money to people who openly hate them."
Now that really got me thinking. This article is written as either a companion piece, or as an extension, you can decide which.
Storytelling in Hollywood, and its decline, are certainly big factors as far as I'm concerned. I saw Alien Covenant earlier this month (I borrowed it) and was so glad I never put any of my own money towards that film. The story of that, especially walking around an alien planet with no protective head gear (which is how they get infected), and some the stupidity of some of the characters in the movie (aimlessly shooting at an alien and hitting a fuel tank) was just so aggravating to watch. It was even harder to believe that Ridley Scott directed this movie, someone who's previous works I have long admired.
A.C also continues another Hollywood trend, prequels.
From a personal point of view, I do not see why entire movies need to be made to tell a backstory, mainly because the audience will know how it will end, who will live and who will die. To be fair, A.C was a financial success and the critics liked it. But the audience? Not so much.
Remakes/reboots are also another factor. I talked about the remake of IT last year with some friends, and I predicted it would fail. It turns out that I was quite wrong, the movie was well received by both critics and audiences, and pulled in a large profit, $654 million at the time of writing this. However, there was also the release of The Mummy, staring Tom Cruise. Why we needed this series being rebooted, I'll never know, but it happened all the same. To be fair to the movie, it was a financial success, having pulled in $409 at the time of writing, but critics and audiences both hated it.
Then there are sequels, and god damn we have had plenty of them. Ironically, both the movies my wife and I have seen this year have been sequels, Logan and John Wick 2. Both were entertaining, financially successful, and well written movies, and on the day of writing this, I purchased the Logan Blu-Ray. It comes with a bonus version where it is presented in black and white, a brilliant idea that I cannot wait to watch.
Then there is Transformers: The Last Knight.
Wonderful, another one.
I grew up with the Transformers, I have always loved them since my childhood, but the live action movies left a lot to be desired. The writing in them was either questionable, or just really bad. Most would agree that Revenge of the Fallen was the worst of them all, Age of Extinction was pretty bad, but it was also unneeded. Michael Bay should really have ended it with Dark of the Moon, but he appeared to not know when to stop. Again, I point out in fairness that the movie did financially well, pulling in $605 million at the time of writing, but again, the response from critics and fans was something else.
Brian also pointed out that people were also not in a hurry to give money to people in the movie business who hated them. This was a really good point, there are a couple of examples that really back this up.
Ah yes, Who could forget Jennifer Lawrence and the stories surrounding her this year? After it was reported that she had said Hurricanes Irma and Jose were "Mother Nature's wrath" at America for electing Donald Trump, some folks did not take to kindly to that. To be fair, she did not actually say that, but her comments, as far as some were concerned, did hint as such. Her movie, Mother, was apparently boycotted by Trump supporters who had felt she attacked them. It only just made back its budget at the box office and was not very well received by critics and viewers. This obviously stuck in the minds of those higher up in the movie world. When promoting his latest movie, writer Aaron Sorkin, who had gone after Trump quite a bit during his election campaign, pointed out that he had been gently reminded that Trump supporters buy movie tickets too. "In other words, try not to insult half the people," he said. Moments like that serve as a gentle reminder that you must really remember who pays to see those movies, so best not to insult them. It also reminded me of when Simon Pegg said about the main villain of the Star Trek Beyond movie, that "he's very much a Trump or one of the Brexiters". I remember seeing that and thinking that I would give that movie a pass, I guessing others did as well, the movie ended up taking the least of the three at the box office.
I'm not going to lecture people on how they should spend their money, absolutely not. These days, I find myself watching a lot of the older movies, simply because they are more entertaining and it looks like the film makers really tried to put out something good. My approach to modern movies, and if I should see them, has come down to this: is this really worth my money? So far this year, when I have looked at the movie releases, I have come up with the same answer. I have I missed out on a lot? Sure. But from this, I take two things. First off, my money did not go towards some of these movies, and secondly, this approach really has saved me a lot. Of. Money.