Hollywood remakes the definition of a “hit”

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The Future. According to THR, one out of five moviegoers has “vanished” since COVID… but that may not mean moviegoing is on the decline. It’s just evolving. The next era of Hollywood may be one where originality, big swings, and hybrid releases help movies rise above the cultural white noise.

Marquee mysteries
2023 was the year of the moviegoing vibe shift due to a handful of trends.

  • Franchise fatigue. Plenty has been written about the very bad year for superhero movies, but new entries like the Indiana Jones, Mission: Impossible, and Transformers franchises came in below expectations.
  • Demand for fresh blockbusters. For the first time since 2001, the top three films at the box office weren’t a sequel or remake, with audiences preferring big swings like Oppenheimer and Barbie.
  • A push for originality. It’s the A24 wave — younger cinephiles are propping up bold specialty releases like Poor Things, Asteroid City, and Dream Scenario, giving them the love that propelled Everything Everywhere All at Once to a Best Picture win.
  • Theaters as marketing. Speaking of specialty movies, many are doing a quick run in theaters in order to eventize their rental and streaming releases, which has worked well for films like The Holdovers and Priscilla.

The domestic box office hit a surprising $9 billion last year — 21% more than 2022, but 21% behind 2019. Hollywood still has a ways to go before returning to post-COVID glory… but these trends may be a blueprint to get there.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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