A former Paramount and Fox executive thinks that’s it for movies.
Barry Diller made a name for himself in the Hollywood studio game as CEO of Paramount and Fox. You’d think he knows little about the film business. Well, late Thursday afternoon, Diller appeared on NPR during the Sun Valley conference in Idaho and had some interesting thoughts on the state of the industry.
He said, “The film business is over … The film business as before has ended and will never come back. I used to be in the film business where you really did something because it was important to you. ”
His comments came from complaints about the rise of streamers and corporate conglomerates changing what it means to make movies and how studios make money from theatrical releases.
Diller’s main point was that the production of films with lasting cultural impact could perhaps be finished.
He went on to talk about what it’s like to make films for a streamer like Amazon and said, “The system isn’t meant to please anyone. It’s about buying more Amazon stuff. It’s not a terrible thing. I just don’t care. ”
These are not new concerns and have been repeated by people since the pandemic began. Many believe that the closure of cinemas and the advent of streamers have negatively impacted the industry, turning movies into content and further displacing art from commerce.
Repeating those feelings, Diller focused on the quality of what came out of it, saying, “These streaming services did what they call ‘movies’. These are not films. You’re a strange algorithmic process that created things that take about 100 minutes. ”
There is a lot to unpack and fear here. Something has to change in Hollywood.
My main concern is the idea of theatrical releases disappearing and the opportunities for young voices also struggling to break through the noise on streaming platforms. We’re in the Wild West and no one can predict the future, but do you think movies are done?
Let us know what you think in the comments.