The Magazine

Blame the Glucose

Or, who Hollywood enriches when it makes movies.

Sep 19, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 01 • By JOHN PODHORETZ
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The incentive structure of the business is askew. The thing individuals in Hollywood want most is to make money without risk, and they can do that more easily with junk produced wastefully than with story-driven projects made with care and modesty. And what is the end result of this process? This summer, for the fourth year in a row, attendance was lower than the year before; fewer tickets were sold in the summer of 2011 than at any time since 1997, when the national population was 267 million. This year the national population is almost 20 percent larger, at 312 million.

Ticket sales aren’t just decreasing; they’re cratering relative to the size of the population. Adult moviegoers have lost their taste for the medium because there are only a few films made every year they might actually want to see. Hollywood is destroying itself, even though the answer to its salvation is as plain as the over-the-counter salsa served with the Trader Joe’s guacamole at that book club next door where they’re all crying over The Help.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, is The Weekly Standard’s movie critic.

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