No matter where you look, Hollywood’s always been a hotspot for celebrity scandals. The most recent being the cheating scandal between actor Robert Pattinson and British-Swedish actress Kristen Stewart. The couple have been tabloid fodder ever since their highly publicised split in 2014.
While their personal lives have been dominated by the press, it’s not just the juicy gossip that’s kept fans interested. The power couple have worked together as directors on four films so far, with their latest project, the dystopian thriller Death on the Nile, earning rave reviews and becoming their biggest box office hit yet. This month, they’re back on the big screen with the release of the highly anticipated third installment of their Twilight franchise, Twilight Saga: The Dark Crystal. The film is the first to be produced and released by Netflix, the streaming service that has transformed the way we consume content.
Here, we’re going to explore the impact of the streaming revolution on Hollywood’s most famous ‘bachelors’ and ‘bachelorettes’, specifically asking two questions: first, how have Netflix and other streaming platforms changed these celebrities’ habits as male entertainment seekers; and second, how will these platforms affect the future of Hollywood as we know it?
How Has the Streaming Revolution Changed the Habits of Male Entertainment Seekers?
Before the advent of modern streaming services, people only really had access to film and television shows the same way they had previously accessed the newspaper or the radio: sporadically, at random, and in small doses. The days of marathon binging are something we rarely see now because the viewing habit has shifted to match the attention spans of today’s busy society.
Many people can now ‘binge’ on Netflix or similar services because the content is available when, where, and how they want it. This convenience has undoubtedly changed the way people behave when it comes to entertainment, and it’s shifted the power away from creators and distributors to audiences.
Here are some notable examples of the streaming revolution changing the habits of male entertainment seekers:
For years, Hollywood’s biggest box office draws were driven by male audiences travelling to the cinemas to see the latest superhero or action movie. However, in 2016, an entirely new model of movie-going emerged thanks to the streaming services. As the industry shifted to accommodate the growing proportion of people who stream content, the most popular movie genres didn’t die, but rather evolved to fit the platforms.
With Marvel Studios moving from Netflix to their own Disney-owned platform, and DC Comics branching out of the big-budget superhero films into a world of indeterminate solo films and small-team collaborative projects, the days of the blockbusters are numbered.
It’s an evolution that’s continued with the success of Oscar winners Joss Whedon (Toy Story) and Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman). Both filmmakers have steadily built up a backlist of prestige projects while working within the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe and with celebrated comic book writers like Geoff Johns (The Flash, Green Lantern) and Jason Aaron (Thor, Captain America).
The success of these solo projects and mini-franchises shows that audiences aren’t just looking for the same old Hollywood action-adventure, but have higher expectations when it comes to the films they watch. So, how does Netflix factor into this model?
More Family-Friendly Content
If you’ve ever tried to take your children to the cinema, you’ll know that the experience is not exactly kid-friendly. Even some of the animated films on Netflix are too sophisticated for younger viewers. Fortunately, the streaming platform makes it much easier to find content that’s more suitable for children. Thanks to strict age-restrictions and parental controls, parents can ensure their kids’ content-viewing is safe and without any objectionable material.
The streaming services are creating a safe space for children, and adults who care for them, to enjoy quality content together. This is especially beneficial because it means the entire family can enjoy movies and television shows, rather than having to split up to find something that each member of the family can enjoy.
Expectation Of Quality
Before the advent of streaming services, people were far more likely to accept sub-par movie versions intended for children. These days, thanks to a more discerning audience and the emergence of platforms like Netflix, it’s not unusual to find movies that are more challenging and less reliant on special effects and action scenes.
Hollywood has largely shifted to meet the demands of this new audience, with comic book adaptations taking precedence over straight-up action movies; Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson delivering virtually all of the movie’s punches; and Marvel Studios finally acknowledging the existence of an audience that prefers their films’ artistic side rather than their grandiose plot devices and spectacular fight sequences. The films themselves aren’t bad, but they’re not exactly what we’d call ground-breaking, either.
The streaming platforms have changed all of this. By acting as a safe space for creators, curators, and audiences, they have given everyone the power to create and enjoy quality content. This is a world away from the days of Hollywood blockbusters, which will likely see more people turn their back on the mainstream because of the oversaturation of content.
Quality matters now more than ever before, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, when you can binge-watch a TV season of Daredevil in just a few days, what’s the point of wasting time with a film that doesn’t live up to your expectations?
While this evolution is a gradual process that will continue to reshape entertainment as we know it, the streaming platforms are making it clear: quality matters. It’s only a matter of time before audiences realise this, too, and the mainstream will begin to feed on this new found appreciation for quality content.