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Blockbuster Burnout?

Are we done with Hollywood?

By Samuel MoorePublished 4 years ago 3 min read

I love a good blockbuster. Those exciting movies where everything is at stake. Where good must triumph against evil but there are so many obstacles to overcome.

Heart pounding and adrenalin in movie form.

Problem is, there is such a thing as blockbuster fatigue.

I’ve said for a long time that two of my favorite films are, Premium Rush and Collateral Beauty.

These are nothing like the big blockbusters that come in waves every year.

The stories are small and affect no one but the characters in the stories.

Marvel effects (at least) the whole world.

So why do smaller films have such an impact? And are we seeing the end of big blockbusters?

I’ll answer the latter first.

No. There will always be big blockbusters and we will always love to see them. But this year- for obvious reasons has seen much lower returns for production companies.

A big part of this is the experience of the blockbuster.

When I watched Avengers Endgame, it wasn’t just me in the theater who cheered at the line we had waited years was spoke.

There was a feeling that flooded the theater, whether it was the first time someone had watched it or the 17th, we shared a moment. That really is the magic of theaters and movies.

We share these moments and they come back to us when we re-watch those films at home.

Without that shared experience we are more likely to pick up the faults of the movie.

Disney’s Mulan I think is a great example of this.

There was a lot of mistakes made with this movie and the Chinese audience made it very clear they did not like it for a number of different reasons- just one of them being the clear ignorance of Chinese mythologies, ancient culture and historical realities.

Another issue was the lack of music in something that most people remember from the animation- which had music.

I think in the west this movie would have been better received if it had released in theaters but because it was a home release on a subscription service- that you had to pay extra for, it left a lot of people with clear sight to break down the film as what it really is without the ‘shared moment’ that so many other films bank on.

This is going to lead to 1 of 2 outcomes.

1, Hollywood will carry on and ignore the reality of the products they are push, and eventually, they will be replaced.

2, they will learn and focus more on quality writing.

Putting aside politics, ethics, and everything else when you break down an individual film for what it is - again I point to Mulan- it’s just not written well. The same can be said for the recent patch of Star Wars films that we had and even on the smaller screen, we have seen the same thing.

Quality writing must be put first. There has always been messaging in film. Always- but the difference is always the writing.

Smaller films have such an impact because they focus on writing. Premium Rush is a film about bike couriers in New York and one gets caught up in human trafficking. The most action-packed scene is when Joseph Gordon-Levitt is maneuvering around a car park on his bike.

But the story is so well written.

Collateral Beauty is a story of a man trying to cope with the grief of losing his child.

These films are small, Premium rush costing 35 million (USD) and Collateral Beauty had a budget of 36 million (and was also panned by critics) and yet that resonate with people so much more than the bigger films when you start ripping them apart.

So will movies ever be the same again? I certainly hope not. We are in a time now where we can tell more stories that actually connect with people, but recently movies have been hollowed out and we are told we should like them even when they fall short on multiple levels.

Now Hollywood has a chance to put out great stories again.

Let’s put aside the big films that build up to something else and simply have great, independent films.

Of course, there is a third option. They will fail and streaming services will dominate will take over the role Hollywood has had.

Only time will tell.

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About the Creator

Samuel Moore

Love to write and have more than a few opinions

Social media handle; Bamgibson30

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    Samuel MooreWritten by Samuel Moore

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