Friday 17 November 2023

"Sooner or later, even superheroes die." [updated]


"How much longer [will] big-budget franchise films continue to draw audiences? ... Special effects add some sizzle to the steak, but it is still the same stale meal night after night. Sooner or later, even superheroes die....
    "Hollywood has saturated the market with look-alike movies. Their pipeline of films is now exploding like the Nord Stream, but with this difference—studios are still sitting on a huge pile of future bombs....
    "[Disney] launched 'The Marvels' on Friday and quickly set a record—for the lowest opening day and weekend ever for a Marvel film. It wasn’t even close. ... That’s what saturating the market does to you.... But who can say when the market for these kinds of movies will improve? ...
    "[T]he risk here is much bigger than box office receipts indicate. That’s because Disney isn’t just releasing bad movies, but actually destroying key franchises that drive the entire corporate strategy.
    "Walt Disney may have built his company on creativity, but his successors have replaced it with an empire based entirely on brand extensions. These are now crumbling....
    "Of course, Hollywood will survive all this. Films won’t disappear. But they will change.
    "Studios have no choice. They must abandon the stale formulas that got them into this bind—transforming themselves back into creativity businesses, not brand management companies churning out extensions like new flavours of potato chips. If they didn’t learn that from getting whupped in 2023, they will figure it out in 2024 or 2025."
~ Ted Gioia, from his post 'How To Kill a Superhero'
Tom Hunter reckons you should watch this:


Tom Hunter said...

The Critical Drinker and others have been tracking this for the last few years, and I reckon you should put the following YouTube video of his (only 11 minutes) up on the post because it's just as scathing and makes the same point as your link, but is also brutally funny.

The Critical Drinker: Disney - An Empire In Collapse

Duncan Bayne said...

> transforming themselves back into creativity businesses

Were they, though, when they stumbled onto this formula with Iron Man?

I've worked with a few tech companies that described themselves as creative, but actually, were never able to replicate their initial success.

I wonder if the same thing is going on here?

Peter Cresswell said...

@Tom: Done.
@Duncan: "Were they, though..." Few of them have been foe some years/decades, IMHO. Not since spectacle began taking precedence over story.