Hollywood faces uncertain future after tumultuous year


Change has turn out to be a truth of life in Hollywood, as know-how retains rewriting the script. But even by these requirements 2017 has been a dizzying 12 months, with just a few silver linings seen amid darkish clouds that vary from the big shadow of sexual harassment to extra mundane considerations, just like the besieged cable bundle and dwindling field workplace.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal, and waves of sexual-misconduct allegations it triggered, dominated the 12 months, and people ripples — and contemporary allegations — have stored coming. Though the #MeToo tide has swept past the leisure business into different high-profile spheres — together with media, trend and politics — getting Hollywood’s home so as will not be an in a single day process after many years of unhealthy habits.

The anger and concern unleashed by these revelations, nevertheless, wasn’t the entire story in 2017. Whereas executives marvel whose profession may be upended subsequent, there has additionally been a rise in additional typical strains of uncertainty, stemming from mergers, acquisitions and the intrusion of deep-pocketed tech titans — together with Apple, Fb, Amazon and Google — decided to make their mark on the enterprise.

Whereas the prospect of latest cash flowing into manufacturing is usually excellent news for the inventive neighborhood, it is trigger for anxiousness amongst extra conventional media corporations. These enterprises are already reeling from the affect of Netflix and the shift consumption habits of youthful audiences, specifically, away from outdated fashions.

The modifications could be seen in cord-cutting — the phenomenon of individuals shedding their cable bundle, pursuing extra a la carte viewing choices — which has made even sports activities large ESPN, as soon as an unlimited money cow, a drain on Disney’s inventory value because of apprehensions about its future.

A separate — although not essentially unrelated — decline has additionally impacted the home U.S. field workplace. The summer season, specifically, noticed a pointy 15% downturn, sinking to its lowest degree in additional than a decade as folks exhibited much less willingness to trek to theaters for middling titles.

Worldwide development has helped offset these home doldrums, however that is small consolation to theater chains. Regardless of proof that massive commodities can nonetheless draw crowds — see “The Final Jedi” or to a lesser diploma “Surprise Lady” — many sequels and reboots, as soon as perceived to be virtually sure-fire hits, badly stumbled in 2017.

John Boyega in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Firms are pursuing totally different methods to handle these realities, however there is no clear blueprint as to which one will work.

Nothing higher exemplifies the conflicting philosophies than Disney’s pending acquisition of key Fox leisure belongings, looking for to bulk as much as acquire leverage in opposition to Netflix and its ilk. Fox, against this, is shifting to cut back its footprint and publicity, elevating questions — and anxiousness — about who may be swallowed subsequent.

The malaise and sense of unease hanging over Hollywood has additionally prolonged into politics, the place the election of Donald Trump has concurrently unified many throughout the famously liberal leisure world and alarmed them in regards to the U.S.’s course. With extra performers talking out, studios and networks cannot escape controversy and, on this polarized local weather, appear to be consistently buffeted by considerations about alienating a portion of their viewers.

These points might be evident because the business embarks on what’s often a celebratory interval — particularly, the “awards season” that leads as much as the Oscars in March.

This time round, these festivities might be accompanied by recollections of Weinstein’s affect on the awards circuit, politics, and whether or not makes an attempt to enhance the symbolic illustration of individuals of colour will maintain strides made final 12 months in response to the #OscarsSoWhite marketing campaign.

Acknowledging issues, after all, would not resolve them. However recognizing these points in a clear-eyed and simple method does fall underneath the heading of not with the ability to handle the business’s myriad challenges, together with these missing hashtags, till you admit that they exist.


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