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    Is Hollywood going up or down?
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Is Hollywood in Decline?

Written by CEO Ben Arnold (ChatFellow)
E-mail: BigConversation@Zoho.com

(Image: Gratisography 414_1)

Has Hollywood declined in sanity? Or skill? Or quality? That's a huge question these days as stocks are declining and literally everything seems to be declining. Movie sales are dropping (1). The number of flops is increasing. "Hollywood is heading into the season of horror after a summer from hell (2)."

Also there's the question about whether or not the system is rigged. Movies that were given bad reviews by all of the more famous critics prior to a release, which arguably destroying sales and director's lives, became everybody's favorite movies after the fact. The movies that the critics all gave high reviews were thrown into the dirt by audiences worldwide who poured gasoline onto these so-called gems that continued to be verbally shredded in the lime light by everyone for many decades! Why are the critics wrong seemingly half of the time, if not all of the time (3)? Is the system biased? How many careers have they ruined (4)? Actually there are so many factors involved, maybe the movie truly was bad!

While I agree with the person I'm going to quote right now: "I am a firm believer that audiences take critic grades too seriously (5)," I'm also going to agree with that person that critics are most likely not bribed, not biased, and so on (6).

I'm just saying they're wrong, in that their opinions don't match the opinion of the masses. If they're the only person in the world who loved or hated the movie, their words then are misleading to the rest of us who will think differently about the movie. And if we believe the critic, that we'll hate the movie, that equates to millions of dollars lost by the movie producers. And is it fair that we'll then a year later get the movie for a dollar or for free from a library or friend, and totally love it? We would've gladly spent a ton more money on those movies that we would've loved. But didn't, thanks to the critic's wrongful guidance.

But lets not blame everything on the critics, usually a movie is destroyed by another movie that's better that's playing at the same time; honest competition. Also, the movie producers themselves are often as out of touch with their constituents as are politicians (7).

Also, I wonder if being a man has anything to do with it? There are women directors, producers, and so on. But the lion's share of movie productions has always been in the hands of men. Right now I'm talking about the critic's influence on a movie's success but in a moment I'll mention the fact that the responsibility falls more squarely on the shoulders of the producers, not just solely the directors. And whether a man or woman I'd say that it's a matter of leadership, as much as anything else. See more on leadership here: https://medium.com/@benarnold4u/what-is-a-leader-fd33ce77cdff

I can think of several such movies like "Babe" where the director and everyone intimately involved with the film was literally destroyed by the critics negative reviews, movies that were proven afterwards to be beloved by the masses (8). Consequently "Babe 2" was destroyed mostly by the studio and producers themselves (7).

And I'd rather not list more since there are plenty of articles on the subject that do list them. And the critics get enough abuse from thousands of other articles and so I won't go down that road. And they're just regular people who deserve our love and respect just as much as the next guy, who shouldn't be condemned for having a different opinion. The real issue here, the bottom line that I'm trying to get to, is that I'm just wondering if overall we're witnessing the decline of Hollywood?

We all remember when half of America's largest companies went bankrupt. Like the airline industry, the automotive industry, etc. And even industries that were not bankrupt were still having their budget cut, or simply were outdated and reduced such as America's military (nothing too serious, it still outpaced all possible enemy threats obviously). But also we remember that they were turned around, bailed out, and/or restructured, and America's economy survived yet again like it always does.

Even the banks had gone bankrupt! The whole nation that Hollywood calls home, America, seemed in decline. But now it's back, and most of those organizations and entities, in fact all of them are back up and running, some are back on top again. And so does that bode well for Hollywood?

"In the mid-90s, the first time I downloaded an MP3, I realized that the music industry was in grave trouble (1)."

Even the music industry was in decline. They were blaming their problems on piracy or anyone but themselves. Hollywood jumped on that bandwagon for awhile saying that all their failures were because of kids in Bangladesh pumping out extremely low quality black and white copies of Hollywood's films and selling them for peanuts (2)(9).

Today everyone is copying and distributing, and in HD quality, and yet Hollywood and the Music Industry have since stopped making that claim after nearly a million experts came forward and pointed the finger where it needed to be pointed.

Why is the industry in decline? Or maybe it's not.

"The subtler truth is that the American movie market is in a slow, decades-long structural decline (2)." And the movie industry for several decades seemingly didn't do anything about it. The only innovations it seemed were by Steve Jobs when he gave the world Pixar and found Nemo (10). But now of course the movie industry is again sky rocketing thanks to super heroes and Star Wars.

Well, if Hollywood does go under we can move to India or Korea where their Hallyuwood and Bollywood or whatever they call their Hollywood lookalikes are thriving, literally thriving. Another bad omen is the fact that while Hollywood was licking its wounds and blindly pointing at everyone when trying to identify the cause of their temporary declines in performance, these other nation's movie and music industries were wildly thriving beyond anyone's wildest dreams come true.

"Even a nominal investment in a somewhat successful tech company could generate more money than Hollywood’s top-grossing movies (1)." But is that statement truly taking into account that movies now are grossing in the billions? Tom Cruise is literally worth a billion dollars now! And so are several others. Maybe not net, but overall amount of money passing from hand to hand. That's the size of some small countries!

Personally, I think Hollywood just like the stock market is going to continue going up and up, without ever tumbling more than what it can eventually overcome, in the coming centuries, as long as America doesn't lose WW3. Otherwise Hollywood will need to learn Chinese or Russian, or both! I'd recommend Bollywood Hindi or Hallyuwood Korean as a less painful alternative and warmer places to live and work, similar to California's climate.

-Ben Arnold (ChatFellow)
E-mail: BigConversation@Zoho.com

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(1) Why Hollywood as We Know It Is Already Over
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/why-hollywood-as-we-know-it-is-already-over
(2) What Caused Hollywood's Summer From Hell?
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/09/hollywood-blockbusters-summer/539235/
(3) Why Movie Critics are complete Garbage
https://www.comicbookmovie.com/other/why-movie-critics-are-complete-garbage-a41698
(4) 12 Actors Whose Careers Were Destroyed By A Single Movie
http://whatculture.com/film/12-actors-whose-careers-were-destroyed-by-a-single-movie
(5) On Movie Critics, Movie Studios & Bribery
https://screenrant.com/movie-reviews-critics-bribes/
(6) Is Disney Paying Off Movie Critics For Good Reviews?
https://www.filmfad.com/is-disney-paying-off-movie-critics-for-good-reviews/
(7) Studio slaughtered 'Babe 2'
https://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/studio-slaughtered-babe-2
(8) Babe: Pig in the City
http://thenewbev.com/blog/2017/08/babe-pig-in-the-city/
(9) Pirating Not the Problem
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/disney-fights-off-pirates-but-is-the-cinema-industry-sinking/8560586
(10) Steve Jobs - Pixar and Disney Ownership
http://pixar.wikia.com/wiki/Steve_Jobs