It should be noted that this shift in the economy of Hollywood film production began before Marvel or The Avengers. Director Steven Soderbergh withdrew as a celebrity (temporarily) from making films in 2013 due to the greater economic interests and corporatization of studies that led, even then, to the decline of mid-budget films. Although his retirement was short, his motivations were not, and one of his colleagues at Gen-X filmmakers, Spike Lee, had an interesting insight into the shift in what audiences and studios seemed to want at the beginning of 2010s.
“I’m not Steven Soderbergh, I’m not banishing myself,” Lee said Flavorwire in 2014. “I am adaptable! [I’m not] says, “Fuck Hollywood, I’ll never make a studio movie again.” That’s not the case at all, but there are some films the studio has not wanted to make lately. “Lee went on to note that his breakthrough film in American pop culture’s mainstream was studio efforts.
“Malcolm X was a studio film, ”Lee said. “Do the right thing was a study film. “Yes, Do the right thing multiplied its $ 6.5 million budget for Universal Pictures by more than five times when it earned $ 37.3 million in the domestic market in 1989; Malcolm X earned $ 48 million in the domestic market on a budget of $ 33 million in 1992. The first of them was healthier than the latter, but what feels like news today is that a studio would spend $ 30 million north on a Malcolm X biography – and it was 1992! With inflation, this budget is closer to $ 67 million in 2022 money. While the diversity of voices making films has grown, the amount of money spent on them in the non-superhero or blockbuster realm has demonstrably shrunk. Think of Regina King’s soulful historical fiction, One night in Miamiwhich also stars Malcolm X, cost only $ 16 million … and premiered on Amazon.
The financial reasons for this are greater than any single franchise or genre, though superhero movies have become the primary one that audiences go to the cinema. In truth, it began with the implosion of the home media market in the late 2000s due to the advent of streaming services like the aforementioned Amazon Prime or Netflix. As more studies became subject to larger and larger corporate conglomerates, the fiscal bottom line became the overriding determination of what went green … and what did not. Making $ 300 million on a $ 200 million superhero movie with a built-in audience is far more appealing to AT&T than making e.g. $ 40 million of four $ 50 million films. If they all hit.
The reality is that more movies are being made now than before, with a greater diversity of storytelling talents in front of and behind the camera, but more and the vast majority of them are produced as indies without a larger audience or for a streaming service that delivers them in niche algorithms . Meanwhile, Hollywood studios are increasingly reducing their production as they invest larger sums in tent poles that are either Marvel movies or chase the Marvel movie formula.
In 2002, 10 years from Paramount Pictures distributed it Disney-produced The Avengers, Paramount released 20 films; in 2012, the same year that Paramount closed its contract with Marvel, the studio released 15 films; in 2022, long after its financial share in the lucrative superhero genre was completed, Paramount is releasing 11 films (it was to be 13 until two projects were sold to separate streamers).