Hollywood is in trouble.
HBO and Warner Bros. spent 80 million dollars to finish the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League. It debuted last week on HBO Max.
1.8 million watched “at least five minutes” of the 4-hour film the “opening weekend”.
Meanwhile, the guys at Red Letter Media (just four guys in a Milwaukee warehouse using prosumer video gear) watched JL and did a video review.
1.3 million views. So far.
When critical “fan” videos get almost as many views as the actual original “film” being critiqued… Is the criticism the ACTUAL entertainment, now?
It is for me.
Red Letter Media has reviewed SCORES of movies I have never watched, nor want to watch. Because of their personalities, humor, and intelligence… They are one of the few “shows” I watch on a regular basis.
Another is The Critical Drinker
Who is ACTUALLY watching these shows?
Netflix, Apple, Amazon… They never really put out the actual numbers. Yes, they hype subscriber signups, but that is only one factor. Another one – A big one – is Engagement.
How often did people watch the new (expensive) content these services release? If there are 70 million subcribers, why are “only” 1.8 ish million watching new episodes of the latest Marvel show (for example)?
I think the truth is something Hollywood is hiding.
Lots of people are PAYING for streaming services, but a whole lot of people aren’t really USING them.
They have the real numbers. They know what people are watching, when they are watching, what they are REWATCHING (a big deal for companies like Netflix) and how many “abandon” shows after one or two episodes. I heard that the latest Trek show Picard had a HUGE abandon rate on CBS All Access, and NO ONE rewatched it.
Perhaps at some point a whistle-blower will come out and reveal the ACTUAL metrics for all the “hit” shows on one of these streaming services. And someone in a corner office will do the math.
“We had only 4 million total viewers for the whole season of that show and the show cost us $50 million? HALT PRODUCTION.”
It may be the first domino. The center will not hold. Entertainment company stocks are WAY overvalued, Disney leading the pack. If the major source of revenue for these companies (movie tickets) goes away (as I think it has)… streaming can NEVER replace that. Not enough $$$.
I predict a huge reset in the entertainment industry the next year. Mergers, acquisitions, you name it. I expect a major tech companies to buy at least one major studio. Apple would get a HUGELY valuable brand with Disney. They already desperately want to get into content creation (see their flailing AppleTV+ streaming platform). Apple will also own the ULTIMATE “closed garden” to play with, tech wise: The Disney parks. Finally, Apple can sell off Disney subs that don’t align with their core businesses.
If Disney’s stock price drops as much as I think it will, Apple would be dumb not to consider it. Look at how much some of the media companies are losing value.
Meanwhile the mainstream investor sites are putting up articles already trying to explain why these big drops are happening. Wells Fargo calling in a note on two of the biggest streaming services, is their explanation. And then $35 billion in China stock just went POOF. I wonder who was holding most of that stock?
Does Hollywood care about people like me complaining about their content? Of course not. Who DO they care about? The money guys. The hedge fund managers who own millions of shares in Entertainment stocks.
Let’s revisit the Gina Carano incident.
The Investment fund managers KNOW that Disney Star Wars is underperforming. It’s their business to know. They can look at BO numbers.
Then… The Mandalorian. A show that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy had NOTHING to do with.
It got people excited again. It got people buying Star Wars merch again. Gina was a big part of that show.
The problem, of course, is she’s a conservative.
So she had to go. Last month they they fired her and the fans turned on Disney Star Wars BIG TIME. Even now every official Disney Star Wars video on Youtube has more negative than positive feedback. People were posting Gina quotes in comments.
The money men noticed.
This Forbes article came out, and it is a message from the money men to Disney CEO Bob Chapek: FIX THIS
Now I’m not saying Gina will get her job back. That ship is sailed. The hedge fund managers and the institutional investors who hold millions in Disney stock want to see their investments be profitable. VERY profitable.
But in my opinion they want Kathleen Kennedy gone.
The studios don’t work for us. However they DO work for the money men. Which is why they bend over backwards for China – Lots of China money has been invested in Hollywood the past decade. If they want something done, then it will be done.
It may take a planted article in Forbes to start the ball rolling, but it will happen. Numbers don’t lie. Studios look at lots of numbers, including customer sentiment and view time, to make decisions. Hollywood will only remain woke as long as it doesn’t affect the bottom line. They will let it run its course a lot longer than other industries do, but the money men will eventually make a stand.
Will there be any Hollywood left when they finally do so? Well… I don’t really care at this point.
Originally published here.