No one in Hollywood seems to have read “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”
That’s right, we’ve been at the mercy of digital disruption for two decades, but the movie industry believes through sheer force of will it can adhere to the past and drag the public along with it.
But it don’t really happen that way at all.
Here’s the story. We live in an on demand culture. Where we’re the stars of our own movies, where movie stars are fodder for ridicule. Meanwhile, the studio kingpins still think we’re living in the era of appointment viewing, like we’re gonna make time to go to the theatre to see their wares.
Only we’re not.
Unless it’s an event.
That’s right, those superhero movies, that’s what they are. When you lament the passage of seventies flicks, the classic pre-Spielberg slices of life, you’re yearning for an era that’s never coming back. That scene moved to TV.
Which is why the movies need to go day and date. Before their whole distribution paradigm caves.
Although the truth is the two-hour flick itself no longer fits our desires. You see if we make time to view, we want to engross ourselves for hours, days, and one skimming the surface flick does not do it for us.
So, if you’re making a movie, make it something that’s better on the big screen, like “Dunkirk,” that plays to everybody. But still, you should make it available on television the day of release, otherwise, you’re wasting all your publicity dollars. In an era where this morning’s news is forgotten by tonight, who can remember to watch the movie when it hits the flat screen months later?
So what we had here was a self-congratulatory circle jerk.
They ostracized Ryan Seacrest, we were subjected to the bloviations of fashion critics. E! not only lost cred, Seacrest sacrificed whatever gravitas he possessed, which granted, was not much.
As for Kimmel… He wasn’t as good as last year, but he was pretty damn good in a thankless gig. He knew it wasn’t about him, but he snuck in and made it about him. The two highlights of the production were the jet ski and the visit to the Chinese Theatre. Especially with Helen Mirren playing the role of Carol Merrill.
But that had nothing to do with the movies themselves.
Instead, we had the endless tributes to Meryl Street in a moribund flick by the aged hack Steven Spielberg that no one under the age of thirty saw.
Never mind the ultimate winner, “The Shape Of Water.” I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been made, only that that’s not what a movie is anymore, it should have debuted on Netflix, like “Mudbound,” like “Icarus,” then people might have seen it, then it might mean something in the future.
But what was most curious was how the show got beaten back by those working the refs. So scared of alienating the right, there was little Trump-bashing and not much #MeToo. So what you ended up with was a show with no highlights, and ultimately boredom.
But don’t take it from me, just look at tomorrow’s ratings. Which will sink even further. Because when you try to please everyone…
That’s what’s weird about this show, they think they’re playing to everybody and then they honor movies no one has seen.
I remember when baseball was king. MLB makes money, boomers are interested, but everyone else has tuned out.
Meanwhile, they spend a billion dollars on new football stadia when that sport is heading for the cliff.
And the only people in the movie business who don’t know this…
Well, studios make fewer pictures. If it won’t play in China, they don’t want to make it.
And they all make television too.
But we as a nation won’t admit the truth, that times have changed.
Movies used to be the essence of our culture. They were our greatest exportable product. They dominated conversation.
Now it’s about the news.
And if we want escape, if we want truth, we go to Netflix. It’s always ready when we are and there’s truly something for everyone. Series are lying in wait for you to discover them.
Whereas movies are all about TV ads on Thursday night and billboards and reviews for a weekend of play. What kind of business is that?
The Oscars have outlived their usefulness.
It’s not about the host or the producer but the essence of the film business itself.
We want longer stories.
We want access when we hear about something.
We abhor the theatrical experience, especially in an era of 65″ TVs.
We’ve lost all respect for movie stars. They’re just vessels, in most case uneducated.
But we do want stories. We do want escapism.
But we want to dig deep.
Attendance is down.
Netflix subs are up.
You don’t have to be a seer to see what’s happening.
But few in Hollywood want to admit it.