Steven Spielberg, one of the most successful Hollywood film directors in history, lamented a decade ago that the film industry is entering a crisis, and his prophecy has been making the roads amid multiple historic cinematic bombs.
- Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas spoke at the University of Southern California in 2013 with CNBC anchor Julia Boorstin and Microsoft President Don Mattrick for the opening of a new building.
- Spielberg said big changes are inevitably coming to Hollywood, saying that a handful of blockbuster $250 million box office disasters could change the industry forever.
- Spielberg and Lucas predicted that the next iteration of Hollywood will look more like Broadway, with fewer movies being released with higher-priced tickets.
- Both directors noted that their recent films like Lincoln and Red Tails were already having trouble fitting into Hollywood a decade ago and have become almost impossible to produce since.
Why It’s News
The film industry is in an incredible and stressful moment of transition. Major blockbuster films like Top Gun Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water set box office records, while other films like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny are becoming historic bombs. Streaming subscriptions have grown to historic highs, but all of the major streaming services reported losses last year due to poor profitability.
Both directors warned a decade ago that they are entering the film industry at a moment of uncertainty and upheaval. The high cost of producing and marketing films has meant that original films and new ideas are difficult to sell. Many projects that would work as less expensive films are being pushed to television and streaming services. Lucas praised television as the more “adventurous” genre going forward.
“That’s the big danger, and there’s eventually going to be an implosion—or a big meltdown. There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm,” says Spielberg.