Connect with us

Published

on

[ad_1]

The pandemic continues to act as a great cultural accelerant, bulldozing institutions that were lurching slowly towards irrelevance. The impending awards show season may be COVID’s last big cultural casualty before the dawn of the new normal.

The question is whether that damage is irreversible. For the entertainment industry, this question looms large over awards shows and, more importantly, movie theaters. As summer faded to fall, some in Hollywood optimistically believed the months-long national theater closure had created a pent-up demand that would boost new releases like “Unhinged” and “Tenet.”

They had solid data to suggest that could be the case. Ultimately, it was not. Now, as fall fades to winter, Hollywood is reeling from Warner Bros.’s historic decision to make all of their 2021 films available on HBO Max the same day as their theatrical releases. This has filmmakers reasonably upset because it’s not what they wanted for this particular slate of movies, artistically or financially.

More broadly, however, it seems some version of this model was inevitable, although it could have taken as long as five or ten years to solidify, and this transition may slow a bit as our economy opens back up. It’s also difficult to predict exactly what shape the stream-centric film industry will take when the dust settles. Will multiplexes fall? Will moviegoing become a special occasion reserved for beautiful big-budget films or indie fare screened in chic theaters with food and wine? How will this affect production?

If we’ve learned anything from the data that had people optimistic about films like “Unhinged,” it’s that consumer behavior is really unpredictable right now. And the answers to a lot of these key questions depend on it.

The decline of awards shows is easier to predict. Their ratings have slipped dramatically. Their season of champagne-fueled self-congratulations is an uncomfortable fit for this populist moment, as Ricky Gervais brilliantly argued at the last “Golden Globes.” They increasingly award films people are less likely to have seen.

Take a look at The Hollywood Reporter’s list of critic picks for the top ten movies of 2020. Have you watched any of them? More than one? Nobody is saying the Academy needs to shower “Holidate” in awards, but “Parasite” didn’t exactly help their cause.

That’s fine! The Oscars and other ceremonies don’t need to be major national events. But, of course, the shows are highly monetized, so the incentive is very much there.

This year, the downward trend is coinciding with a year of delayed releases, shuttered theaters, and regulations hampering large indoor gatherings and productions. In short, it’s a quagmire. With these shows set to draw comparatively dismal ratings, will viewers ever come back?

“I think political messaging will amplify this year and next. Ratings will drop. And Hollywood may wake up to a real problem that they have to fix re: awards shows and whether they want them to succeed,” Hollywood executive Chris Fenton told me on Tuesday. On theaters, Fenton, author of “Feeding The Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, & American Business” also predicted the Chinese market will rebound stronger than the American theater business, meaning it “will only become more and more important to Hollywood moving forward.”

That will render the inevitable awards show pablum even less appealing as viewers (or, more accurately, non-viewers) are increasingly aware that Hollywood’s domestic moralizing is made in the context of the industry’s complicity with Beijing. Again, this is becoming so glaring and untenable, Gervais made that case to the country during his opening monologue at the most recent Golden Globes.

Advertisement

Speaking of empty moralizers, Tom Cruise, who will perhaps go down in history as the last of the old Blockbuster movie stars, is absolutely right that “Mission: Impossible 7” is playing a role in bolstering “the future of this f-cking industry.”

In newly leaked audio from the set, Cruise excoriated crew members for allegedly violating pandemic protocols, shouting, “You can tell it to the people who are losing their f-cking homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education. That’s what I sleep with every night – the future of this f-cking industry!”

While it’s tempting to laud the likable Cruise for his perspective, like much of the “f-cking industry,” the actor is morally compromised by his starring role in the abusive Church of Scientology. “Creative destruction” does not conjure happy images, but it may be Hollywood’s best-case scenario going forward.

Back in April, Deadline published a fascinating interview on the pandemic with Hollywood historian William Mann, who offered some insightful comparisons with the Spanish Flu. “I think the COVID-19 closures could end up having as significant an impact on the movies as the 1918-19 influenza did,” he predicted. “It will be different, of course, but just as in 1918 the whole structure of the industry could change in a couple of years.”

The structure of the industry was already changing dramatically when the pandemic accelerated the shift to streaming, wrecking theaters and business models and productions. Crucially, our hunger for movies and television content shows no signs of abatement. There is still plenty of money to be made.

It’s a matter of how the movie business will meet that demand. Here, Mann is optimistic. “I look now at streaming services that now basically use [Adolph] Zukor’s model. They control production, distribution and exhibition. Zukor would be cheering them on,” he told Deadline. “And yes, it does get some of the smaller people out of business, but there’s also … it’s a very efficient model and maybe through this industry’s going to find another way in making sure that the product still gets out there.”

In that sense, it appears the Oscars as we know them aren’t well-positioned to define this new season in the life of Hollywood anyway.



[ad_2]

Advertisement
Comments

Politics

Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

Published

on

Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

Advertisement

Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

Continue Reading

Politics

Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

Published

on

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

Advertisement

“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

Continue Reading

Politics

South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

Published

on

The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

Advertisement

The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Politics2 hours ago

Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

Politics13 hours ago

Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

Fox news18 hours ago

‘A lot of people don’t know the severity of what’s going on’

Politics1 day ago

South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

Politics1 day ago

Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

News1 day ago

Seven shot in Philadelphia near SEPTA station, according to police

Politics1 day ago

Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

News3 days ago

CNN’s Stelter,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ this weekend didn’t mention Cuomo’s nursing home COVID story

Politics3 days ago

Rep. Bennie Thompson targets Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in Capitol riot lawsuit

Donald Trump3 days ago

Trump unleashes scathing statement blasting Sen. Mitch McConnell

Politics3 days ago

Judicial Watch sues U.S. Capitol Police in pursuit of emails and videos pertaining to Jan. 6 riots

Bannon3 days ago

Bannon — ‘Trump may run for Congress in 2022 and lead impeachment against Biden’…

Donald Trump6 days ago

Trump acquitted in impeachment trial; 7 GOP Senators vote with Democrats to convict

Candace Owens6 days ago

Candace Owens post photo of her son with a message to all young feminist.

COVID-!96 days ago

Biden administration to allow 25,000 asylum-seekers to cross US-Mexico border while cases are pending

Facebook

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2021 By TSD