Good news for big films, bad news for small ones.
Disney’s “Finding Dory” broke records for the studio this weekend, bringing in $136 million. That’s the biggest weekend for an animated film ever. “Dory” adds to Disney’s run this year so far, with “Captain America,” “Zootopia,” and “The Jungle Book.” Disney’s only major flop is “Alice in Wonderland” with Johnny Depp.
Meantime, “Genius” with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jude Law is Another Roadside Attraction, as Tom Robbins would say. The indie with no marketing or publicity (and aggressive anti-publicity with this column) has now made under $500,000. It’s still playing in a few theaters after basically one calamitous week.
About nine of the top 12 movies playing right now are sequels, comic book movies, or based on a video game. The total box office is way down from last year. Maybe it’s on purpose, but the film business is pushing educated older audiences– and I mean over 30– to home watching of platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu as well as HBO and Showtime.
All anyone talks to me about at cocktail parties is some show they’re watching at home. No one is talking about movies. This is not only disappointing but frightening. But you reap what you sow. This will not be remembered as a golden era of cinema. This will be the generation of binge watching at home.