Fasten your seat belts: Hollywood is in for another bumpy ride in 2023.
With the economy once again on the brink of recession and cutbacks hitting hard across town, the entertainment industry is bracing for more challenges in the year ahead. Among the many question marks of 2023: Will filmmaking rebound to pre-pandemic levels? When will the Disney and Warner Bros. high dramas settle down? discovery? And how viable is broadcasting as a business model for legacy media companies anyway?
In a normal year, Will Smith’s Chris Rock night slap might stand out as a highlight, but this onstage incident was quickly overshadowed by two seismic, though shocking: In April, the Warner Bros. Discovery merger closed. , setting the stage for a series of changes under new boss David Zaslav, while Wall Street darling Netflix revealed its first syndicated loss in a decade, sending shares plummeting and a general panic about big bets on streaming as the wave of the future.
In November, Disney’s board stunned Hollywood when it ousted CEO Bob Chapek and reinstated Bob Iger to the top job. Egger quickly unpacked some of the corporate reorganizations left behind and set about mending relations with a shaky creative community.
However, nerves are far from calm across town as the holidays begin. With last-minute cancellations on the rise and labor storm clouds on the horizon, Hollywood is feeling less festive than usual. Here’s a look back at the turbulent year that was and the outlook for the year ahead.
When will show business really be great again? Sure, “Avatar: The Way of Water” dominated the box office over the weekend, but the opening slate fell short of 2022 Marvel releases including “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and couldn’t touch on the continuing struggles of middle-class blockbusters. Like Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans”. Theater owners have been bemoaning the meager release slate for months, and it doesn’t look like studios will be returning to pre-pandemic production levels anytime soon.
Broadcast reality check
The Netflix subscriber failure in the first quarter of 2022 forced the industry to reconsider optimistic projections about the sector’s growth potential and all the billions of dollars spent on content. Layoffs and cancellations began, and none was more surprising to the creative community than Zaslav’s decision in August to write off “Batgirl,” which was lightened by WarnerMedia’s previous leadership and intended for HBO Max. The “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” approach to distribution is the nerve-wracking creators behind the shows, some of whom have spent years developing their projects.
prospects: mixed. Streaming is here to stay, but cutting back on expenses and relying on ad-supported options is likely to take place as the sector matures.
Advertising is gaining popularity
With cord-cutting and content costs still rising, streamers are starting to lean more towards ad-supported options in 2022. Previous Netflix launched an ad-supported tier in November, with Disney+ doing the same earlier this month. Meanwhile, ad-supported free streaming channels are growing rapidly, and all that stock makes Madison Avenue happy.
prospects: positive. The danger of television switching to subscription models entirely is fading fast.
What’s after the heyday of TV?
With networks and streaming services willing to cancel shows at a moment’s notice and cost containment mandated by C-suites, we may finally have moved on to post-prime TV. In 2023, we should get a better idea of whether this massive amount of content has been scaled down — and whether the next Emmy season will be less punishing as a result.
prospects: It seems that sane people are making a comeback as the volume of content production slowly (and inevitably) declines.
Where to #MeToo?
A series of court cases involving sexual assault has many in Hollywood wondering about the future of the #MeToo movement. A Los Angeles jury has indicted Harvey Weinstein on three more counts of sexual assault. But earlier in the year, a jury sided with Kevin Spacey in a $40 million civil lawsuit. Danny Masterson’s rape trial, which could have put him behind bars for 40 years, ended in a mistrial. Meanwhile, Louis CK won a Grammy in April.
prospects: unclear. It’s hard to imagine returning to a pre-Weinstein world of otherwise looking at despicable behavior, but legal action for #MeToo cases remains unpredictable.
In the wake of botched ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s tour, the biggest suspense in music is whether the legislators will all bark or bite too, in the face of either Ticketmaster (who’s caught in a situation stuck in the middle with-you-dancing on high fees that benefits the company relatively little). ) or what many see as the real enemy, the secondary market.
prospects: Don’t hold your breath but after a shout out from the Swifties, perhaps some consumer-friendly legislation is on the horizon.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made headlines this year with Meghan’s revealing interview with her diverse in October and with the December release of the Netflix “Harry and Meghan” docuseries. All of this hype led to a quick pickup for the second season of the series. So what’s the next frontier for 2023 – series production and written features?
prospects: single upward diverse The employee sees the duo add “Oscar-nominated” to the credits list in the future.
Contributors: Jim Black, Mark Malkin, Joe Utterson, Brian Steinberg, Elisabeth Wagmeister and Chris Willman
#Hollywood #Predictions #bumpy