The older I get, the more I realize that change is almost always in the air and what might excite people at one point in time doesn’t necessarily do so at another.
I’m old enough (cough-gasp) to remember when disco music was king. Saturday Night Fever came out and The Bee Gees were it, man.
And then, just like that, suddenly chants of “disco sucks” rang through the air. Perhaps it was the mega-flop that was The Bee Gees starring Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie…
… but either way, suddenly disco was verboten and anyone who liked the music was deemed out of it (I had a high school professor at the time who thought the reason disco music fell out of favor so harshly and quickly was because adults/parents liked the music as well and started showing up at clubs playing the music. Youngsters were loath to hang out with their parents or anyone older then their generation and thus they abandoned the genre completely).
Over the past couple of weeks two films that perhaps in other times might have been hits, The Flash and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny were released and look to be pretty big box office flops.
Times, alas, aren’t normal yet. COVID decimated the movie theater experience and while the threat of catching it seems to be gone with better treatments and (yes) vaccines, it seems audiences are reluctant to return to theaters like they did before.
In part it may be due to streaming services which have become a go-to for people seeking such things. In part it may be a general tiredness regarding superhero films and/or sequels to very old films (sadly, that’s what the Indiana Jones franchise is at this point).
I don’t know the reason but the bottom line is that with some very few exceptions, “big” film releases have seemingly fallen on hard times at movie theaters.
I do wonder, I must say, what happens next.
Yes, the latest Avatar and Top Gun did good business. Perhaps Barbie and Oppenheimer and the next Mission: Impossible do well also.
But the reality is the movie studios, despite some very questionable accounting practices, seem to be hurting with many of their new releases and they really should think hard and long about what they’re going to invest in.
Things have obviously changed and time marches on as it inevitably does and, as I stated above, what worked before doesn’t necessarily work now.
Warner Brothers has hired James Gunn to oversee the new DC “universe” of films and, frankly, I wonder if maybe they invested in him precisely at the moment when superhero film fatigue might be a thing.
Maybe, maybe not.
Either way, studios need to tread carefully in this Post-COVID movie release reality.