Is Hollywood, as it has been known for so long, on its last legs?
The big news of late from Tinseltown, as noted in an article over at Breitbart, is the abysmal box office numbers. An unfortunate record of performances was recently punctuated by the results from Labor Day, during which the four-day weekend saw box office revenue total about $95.5 million, the lowest number in almost two decades. 1998 was the last year when the four-day Labor Day weekend period failed to generate at least $100 million in revenue.
Beyond Labor Day, North American box office numbers are on a sharp decline – 6.3% behind 2016.
So, what’s going on?
In truth, it’s likely a variety of factors are converging to keep people away from the cinema.
One factor to consider is the ubiquitousness of streaming video. It wasn’t too many years ago that your TV and local cinema were the only places at which you could see video entertainment. Now you can enjoy it on demand through your devices, including your cell phone. It stands to reason that the impact of watching a movie at the theater has greatly diminished as a result, even if you aren’t consciously aware of it.
There are other reasons, as well, and they pertain to the debasement of the culture.
Take the theater-going experience. The increasing deterioration of the social fabric is particularly evident when you go to the movies today. And not only are people rude, but theater management and staff seemed less inclined than ever to step in and deal with discourteous patrons. Average movie-watchers are weary of having to think about how they will navigate the minefield of annoying fellow patrons at the cinema, particularly after they’ve just paid a not-so-small fortune for tickets, popcorn, candy, etc.
Then, of course, there’s the increasingly politicized nature of the people responsible for creating our entertainment. Actors, producers and directors are entirely unrestrained now when it comes to expressing their political beliefs. What’s more, said beliefs are almost always of the hard left variety, and, as such, frequently representative of ideals that go against the grain of traditional, patriotic Americans. The kneejerk reaction among more and more of the viewing public is that the millionaire actor they’re watching on screen hates them, and everything they believe in.
It’s actually rather unpleasant.
Most ominously, for Hollywood, it seems as though several of the factors hurting box office numbers are here to stay. On-demand streaming video isn’t going anywhere, and it’s unlikely that people will magically start treating one another more respectfully. As for the political outspokenness of Hollywood big-shots, the advent of social media, as well as a clear failure on their parts to realize the vast majority of regular Americans don’t care what they think about anything but keeping us entertained, ensures their big yaps will be with us, going forward.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large