Could the 2015 Tentpole Surge Actually Open the Door to Indie Filmmakers?
Could 2015 be the end of the filmmaking world as we know it? Over the past decade, the big budget Hollywood tentpoles have been the main attraction at the cinematic circus, and 2015 looks like it's going to be the "biggest movie year ever." So, why all the doomsday talk? Well, according to an article from Tribeca, this impending over-saturation of superhero movies, sequels, and franchise films will lead to audiences becoming tired of the selection, causing the current system to meltdown, and leaving a big steaming crater for more cerebral, plot and character-driven films to fill. 2015 could actually be the year indie filmmakers have been waiting for.
So, what makes 2015 the "biggest movie year ever?" Well, how about the theatrical releases of the final Hunger Games installation, the sequels to both Avatar and Ted, Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, Jurassic Park World, the Despicable Me Minions spinoff, Star Wars: Episode VII, and Mission: Impossible 5. I'd say that's one giant ball of big budget badassness that's heading straight for a theater near you.
Now, it's doubtful that a large number of those films will fail -- it's not like audience preferences turn on and off like a switch. People are still going to go see the Hunger Games finale and the Avatar sequel, and a handful of those films are going to make lots and lots of money, but the article from Tribeca suggests that because of the sheer number of tentpoles being released in 2015, audiences are going to basically get sick of them and want something else.
If the recent performance of thoughtful, story-driven independent films is any indication of the future, then I'd say that, yeah, this seems plausible. The proof is in the pudding. Indie films took over last year's Academy Awards. Small-budget, cerebral, dramatic films geared toward adults, like Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris, and Enough Said, have found great success as the filmgoing audience ages. Even low-budget indie films not necessarily geared toward an older demographic, like Francis Ha and Spring Breakers found their audiences.
Even more, The 2013 summer tentpoles were largely unsuccessful compared to what was expected. Even Disney has delayed the release of Pirate of the Caribbean 5, which makes one wonder, "Do they know something we don't about the industry?" Is Disney taking these recent developments seriously and rethinking their strategy?
For so long, the astronomical success of big-budget Hollywood films has been influencing the way films are made, specifically in America, and the majority of indie films have found it difficult to find large-scale success in the industry. Based on their massive financial investments and box-office records being made left and right, it seemed as though the bubble was going to expand forever.
But, the industry will continue to change, as it always does. Will the bubble burst? That remains to be seen, but it's clear that a great shift is occurring, and audiences are beginning to want thoughtful and intelligent stories over superheroes and ridiculously over-the-top destruction.
Independent filmmakers might be wise to pick up their cameras and get to work. Come 2015, they just might find themselves with a huge audience hungry to see something, anything new.
What do you think? Do you think the movie industry is heading for a big change? Let us know in the comments.