Lessons from the 'Barbenheimer' Summer
Graham Williamson on what Hollywood should learn from a turbulently successful box office season.
The film industry has celebrated this summer’s box office, nearly 20% higher than last year’s, as a “return to normality” post-pandemic. Yet nothing about Hollywood’s turbulent summer has been normal. The actors’ and writers’ guild strikes are turning into a war of attrition, and previously bulletproof brands and franchises have been outgrossed by a comedy about a doll and a biopic of a nuclear physicist.
It may be that this is a generational shift of the kind Hollywood has harnessed successfully before – like when the unexpected success of Bonnie & Clyde and Easy Rider woke studios up to the power of the boomer audience in the 1960s. But is modern Hollywood really ready for a different generation asking for different movies?
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