According to critics, every year is the worst year for movies. While 2011 has been dominated by sequels and comic book adaptations – not exactly true blue original material – it might be a little hyperbolic to stake such a claim. DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg doesn't think so, however. During an interview with Fortune Magazine, the studio head shared several interesting tidbits – but one thing he was passionate about was the disastrous state of Hollywood cinema.
When Katzenberg posed this question to audiences – "Let me have a show of hands of people that would say the last seven or eight months of movies is the worst lineup of movies you've experienced in the last five years of your life." – most people raised their hands. He continued by stating, "They suck. It's unbelievable how bad movies have been, right. I mean, it's just I haven't seen a run of this, a crop of movies ... right now today it's a particularly dreary moment."
IFC News took a look at this year's top ten box office winners to compare the findings against Katzenberg's comments, and the results prove that most of the moneymakers are uninspired sequels/reboots, or stories based on comic books. As IFC also points out, Bridesmaids managed to make a hit for itself – slowly but surely, with help from the gift of gab via social media tools like Twitter – proving that people want to watch likable, real characters doing actual funny things.
Katzenberg – like many movie-goers – is tired of flashy spectacles and Hollywood sheep pandering to the latest trends with dollar signs in their eyes: "There is this sort of unholy alliance that has existed forever between art and commerce, show and biz. And today it's out of balance and it's too much on the biz, and it's too much on the commerce and it's too much on the marketability." Will film be forever plagued by directors who yank all the best bits from their forebears, cranking out formulaic plots and offering nothing new in the process? It seems terrible to say, but it's almost refreshing to see an original storyline fizzle gallantly at the box office, than watching a surefire (read: recycled) hit win big.
Is 2011 the worst year for movies, or has it just been mediocre so far? Does one film season ring particularly terrible in your memory? And what would it take for a moviemaker to prove that they're focusing more on the "show" and less on the "biz?"
(Editor's interjection: Has Mr. Katzenberg seen Limitless, Source Code, and The Adjustment Bureau? How about The Lincoln Lawyer, Rango or Paul? Fast Five, Thor, or Bridesmaids? X-Men 5, Super 8, or his own Kung Fu Panda 2? Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses or Midnight in Paris? I see more movies that Jeffrey Katzenberg, and I say 2011 has been a relatively solid year for Hollywood product. -- Scott Weinberg)