The Changing Face of Studios
July 8th, 2013 by
Summer is definitely the season for block busters. But that seems to be the majority of what we get from Hollywood now. When even comedies need over-the-top special effects–shows like the This is the End or World’s End–things start feeling odd. Hollywood’s profits have been dropping steadily as the ubiquity of online streaming, both legal and illicit, has increased.
So how has that impacted film? Well we see very few dramas or interesting new ideas from the mainstream world. The foreign market is where most of the money is, and action-packed, special-effects-filled blockbusters are what sells. From well liked movies like The Avengers to critical and technical flops, like “Dragonball,” foreign markets are often a majority source for profits. Not mention that this market even dictates the way the movies are made, with studios doing anything to get the attention of big markets like China. So unless you can harness an asset and make money off the tie-ins and merchandising, like Man of Steel, (which made enough money to break even before it even premiered) your options are limited for production in the mainstream.
Alternatives exist: Much ado About Nothing was well received and produced on a ‘micro-budget.’ Crowd-funding through sites like Kickstarter has entered the world of film production. The final big funding source has yet to truly enter the fight, but it seems likely that streaming sites, like Hulu and Netflix , may start producing their own high-quality films, since they already control the most popular form of after-market consumption.
So don’t worry–while Hollywood continues to crank out highflying, action-packed thrill rides for the world, quality films that really make an impact will still be made. The Godfathers and Lincolns of the future will still be made but will be proceeded by a Netflix logo instead of a WB.