Affleck is one of our most famous multi-hyphenations. So why is he worried about Hollywood?
Ben Affleck can do anything. This year he roused critics and fans as the alcoholic basketball coach on The Way Back, and we're also celebrating the tenth anniversary of Argo, the film that shot him into the directorial stratosphere. Not to mention his role as Batman in the upcoming Snyder Cut and what he's staging next (more on that later).
So when he covers the state of Hollywood and where it could possibly end in the future, we tend to listen.
Affleck spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the future of Hollywood and was concerned.
"I don't know what the reality will be after COVID," he admits. "Who knows what the theater business will be like. I think it happened that during this time people got used to watching from home. It benefited." The way back, for sure. (Affleck's most recent drama grossed just $ 14 million in theaters in the two weeks before the pandemic put it on VOD.) It had just come out so I think the opportunity to see a new movie at home allowed us to get a lot more viewers than would have come to a theater to pay money to watch a sad movie about one Seeing alcoholic dealing with his child death. People have now adjusted to streaming and watching movies at home in ways they weren't before, which likely accelerated an already accelerating trend. "
Despite these worries, Affleck is facing a killer project. It's an adaptation of The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of the 1974 classic Chinatown.
The book is exciting and describes the madness behind the film and what the writer and director (Roman Polanski and Robert Towne) endured in creating a film that defined their career. Many people consider Chinatown to be the best script ever written.
But Affleck doesn't see this movie as an indication of where Hollywood is going.
"I think after COVID films like The Town, films like Argo, all of the films I made would effectively end up on streamers," he speculates. "There are likely to be 20-25 films distributed a year, and they will all be big IP films, regardless of whether they are films that Disney makes like Aladdin, Star Wars or Avengers that you can rely on – end one Half a billion dollar deal. And I think it's going to be very, very difficult for mid-budget dramas and movies like (The Town) to get theatrical distributions. You're either going to see massive, massive films I think that is good or bad, and you can draw your own conclusions, but that would be my best guess about the direction if you are getting a large scale distribution or small films that have little prestige releases in some cinemas but mostly shown on streamers the movie business will only be based on what I see now and experiences I have to do things. "
It's hard to take.
I've spent my whole life loving, cherishing, and trying to write films like this. Now at least the possibilities aren't going away, but the idea of seeing your name in lights could be replaced by displaying your name on a TV screen.
And I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Hollywood is changing– –Hopefully this means new opportunities arise from this, but those changes are here now.
Check out a movie like Triple Frontier. Netflix was the only one making an effort to make this film. That must be a sign of the times.
Recognition: Claire Folger
Affleck agrees. "Triple Frontier did really well for them. Would it have been just as successful and profitable in the theater? I don't know. But I know it was very successful for them, so if you do a certain one, the economy may really change can generate amount of viewers and if they can somehow prove that they are getting a certain number of subscribers based on that material then that means value. I think this is the future and it is just the way it is. I comfort myself with the idea that you can buy a 60-inch TV for $ 250 now so people will definitely see it more closely, and even a small surround system isn't that expensive. Now I like the idea of all of that not especially work that you put into a movie and then have someone watch on their iPhone; I feel like they're just going to miss out on a lot, but sometimes the Z decides Future yourself and you just have to do it. Get on with it. "
These are great points too. We should be happy that writers and directors are being paid for these types of stories.
Chances are coming back, but the distribution has changed.
We are now learning what the audience wants to see and how they want to see it. This shift is at the expense of large studios that are still trying to find ways to keep the theater going. But I'm not sure how long this will take.
With streamers still releasing content during COVID, we will likely see studios trying to monetize their catalogs by either selling them or making an app pay for them to access them.
There are still many things in the air about the future of Hollywood. Where do you see it
Let us know in the comments.