What factors influence the financial success of a film? Star power? Marketing? Humongous budgets? Sure, maybe. But one of the biggest factors is the state of the Stock Market.
What? What does Wall Street have to do with the entertainment industry. (Everything?) Well, in this short excerpt from the documentary History's Hidden Engine, which chronicles the science of socionomics (the study of "how social mood motivates social actions"), Robert R. Prechter, Jr. explains why certain genres of films perform the way they do depending on market trends.
If you've been through the ups and downs of the economy, chances are you've noticed certain trends forming up on the Big Screen. Studies have shown that action/family films tend to fare better in bull markets, while horror films tend to fare better in bear markets. That is, in times of prosperity, audiences go to see action/family films, while in economic crisis and social unrest, audiences flock to horror films.
There are several theories as to why this occurs -- some focusing on the reasons why people go to the movies in the first place, whether it's for escapism, entertainment, or for a relatable, personal connection. Regardless of the reason, there's no denying that market trends influence what audiences want to go see, which, in turn, influences the movies studios are going to make.
Granted, this video only scratches the surface of the the correlation between market trends and the film industry, but understanding that the correlation exists in the first place is not only interesting, but important for the next time you want to make a film.