It is Hollywood self-adulation season. It started last night with the Emmys which suffered its worst ever turnout, a 22% drop on last year in terms of those tuning in. No doubt the Oscars will show a similarly dismal outcome.
As usual all the pet causes of the champagne socialists were there – climate change, transgender rights, white privilege, gender pay gap, racial pay gap and anti-Trump slurs.
When the format has become so predictable is it any wonder why audiences have dwindled.
The 90th Oscars viewership slumped 16% to 25 year lows. They’d slumped 40% over the preceding 5 years. Things had become so bad that the network had to offer advertisers guarantees for the first time ever.
Maybe we only need evaluate Hollywood on its nearly two decades of failure as it has made its films more political. We need only look at the ratings of the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Golden Globes which are all well off the peak.
It should appear to Hollywood that movies about real life stories are the ones that seem to resonate most with audiences – Titanic, The King’s Speech, Argo and A Beautiful Mind. These 4 films grossed $1.04 billion at the box office. It has been 12 years since Hollywood has had a fictional film it chose for itself beat the worst of the 4 movies based off real stories in ticket sales. It has been 15 years since having a proper blockbuster like Lord of the Rings which is arguably pure fantasy and extends to child audiences.
Films are of course subjective. One film one person may enjoy, others may not share the same view. It is interesting though that $100m box offices were a cert for an Oscar Best Picture award til 2004 after which it has been hit and miss since. 9 films in the last 13 have failed to breach $75mn. So instead of Hollywood being so preoccupied with espousing politics, perhaps it should look to the audience it ‘preaches’ to and starts ‘reaching’ them instead.