At the time of the 95ᵉ Oscars ceremony, American cinema is changing


Preparations for the 95ᵉ Oscar ceremony, in Los Angeles (California), on March 9, 2023.

In 2022, the world of cinema celebrated the return of the Oscars. For the first time since the pandemic, the gala took place face-to-face, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Hollywood hoped to stem the decline. While, on Sunday March 12, the 95e presentation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards, the entertainment industry is forced to take note: the times before will not return.

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Three years after the start of the health crisis, it is confirmed that the film industry has been permanently transformed. Admittedly, the year 2023 is off to a good start in the United States: 958.50 million dollars (904.40 million euros) in box office receipts since January: 50% more than in 2022 at the same period. But that’s still 25% less than in 2019, according to audience measurement platform Comscore. And, for the year 2022, the sale of tickets (7.50 billion dollars in the domestic market) showed a drop in revenue of 34% compared to 2019.

The situation of the industry is contrasted with a production which is doing well. Rarely have we seen so many film releases, especially in 2022. But the majority of productions are essentially intended for the streaming market. The Netflix platform, to name a few, produced around 40 films in 2022. Consumer preferences have changed. Even to see a film for the first time, a majority of them now favor cinema at home. Among Millennials, the budget for outings has given way to investments in home theater : giant screens, stereo recordings with many loudspeakers embedded in the ceiling. Rather than going out, young people like to receive for movie nights in their living rooms with modular sofas.

Almost miraculous symbol

Dramatic narratives, comedies, auteur films do not attract this audience beyond the week of their release. These works are increasingly quickly transferred to the video-on-demand market, when they are not released there directly. Spectators now only travel for certain categories of feature films: horror films, blockbusters, superhero films that vary over time (known as “tent pole movies” because a universe of associated products shelters under the main work).

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Example : Avatar. The way of water. Since its release on December 16, James Cameron’s film has grossed $670 million in the North American market, and $2.2 billion in the global market, making it the third best performer of all time. The digital version comes out on March 28.

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