Part of the problem with global capitalism can be found in how Disney, and the greater entertainment industry as a whole, operates today. Due to the fact that IPs, legacy franchises, and legacy actors have a more tangible valuation in the eyes of investors, it’s natural for corporate media to put these things on a pedestal, often to the exclusion of anything else. Unlike untried concepts, new actors, and novel characters, the tried-and-true things in the entertainment industry already have fanbases and notoriety to exploit. It’s far easier from a numbers perspective for investors to involve themselves in film franchises that have an established history of profitability, and due to the intangible nature of entertainment, its far harder to justify similar expenses for things that have not been tried before. Due to the fact that capitalism obsesses over balance sheets to the point of self-cannibalizing lunacy, we’ve seen the entertainment industry stagnate in recent years, simply because large studios’ best economic outlook is built on perpetually recycling the same storylines, characters, and faces. People did not get less creative over the generations, but because financial tools have become so much more sophisticated and operating budgets have ballooned so much in the time since Stan Lee developed the original Spider Man, novelty is no longer good in the eyes of executives. In this article, we’re going to explore why films today are so bad and expand on the concept of fast films: films seemingly made on an assembly line using recycled concepts, characters, and settings.
Across the world, as emerging markets have grown in the wealth and number of their members, entertainment media has sought to try and sell their movies abroad. This is understandable, because profit incentives mean that any market actor wants to involve themselves in emerging markets where they can. Due to the simple fact that not all concepts and symbols carry the same weight in different countries, Fast Films have had to reduce their informational load that they’d ordinarily convey to Western audiences, in order to sell better abroad. While examples are hard to find in Fast Films today, mistranslations in the past have led to fiascos and scandals before for international capitalism. An example of this could be found in Gerber baby formula bottles, which have a picture of a human child on it’s logo. When Gerber began selling their products in Africa, a continent where the label of a package commonly shows the products inside, it was a genuine concern among Africans that Gerber was selling the processed remains of babies as formula. Film studios today, that have to ply their goods both domestically and abroad, use a variety of consultants to ensure that their products are never misconstrued and demonized by the general public. The meaning in films, which often centered on cultural topics of the viewers in the past, have been oriented around what appeals to the most base and universal of human desires, because all else is alienating to one audience or another in a global economy. The Michael Bay format of the big budget “Big Boom Much Wow Many Boobs” movies has been the most successful movie format in the Modern Ages, but instead of relying on one-off characters and unique plots, it’s more financially sound for studios like Disney to incorporate IPs they’ve bought into that dynamic.
More than the quality, content, and predictability of the films themselves, globalization has also mandated that people make films for the lowest common denominators more than ever before, in order to appeal to more people abroad. Due to the inconvenient truth that people for some strange reason vary in intelligence across international borders, movies aren’t geared any longer towards being profound or enlightening for American viewers, when a significant portion of their consumers have IQs in the 90’s and below. Existential movies like Steven Spielberg’s movie A.I. and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey are a relic of an ancient time, when movies were made for an America whose intelligence and cultural backgrounds vary far more greatly now. Those same films wouldn’t sell today, and being one-off movies with higher intellectual requirements in order to understand them, couldn’t appeal to viewers today in the same ways they did in the years previously. The truth is that as capitalism continues to advance, as global IQ averages continue to drop throughout the world, as different cultures with different values emerge as consumers in the global economy, we’re going to inevitably see dumber, simpler, and more politically correct movies. The fascinating thing about political correctness in movies today is that, on a global scale, it seems that edits of the movies are made to be politically correct by the standards of different cultures. An excellent example can be seen in Disney’s movie posters concerning certain actors, as shown below:
While Disney appears as an extremely progressive company in America, that isn’t to say that they take these views abroad to countries where their sales would suffer. Disney, like every other corporation besides Christian-owned ones, has shown a willingness to default on its morals whenever it’s profitable to do so, because the material incentives for doing so are so great. The live-action remake of Mulan, filmed in the infamous Chinese province of Xianjiang, where a Muslim ethnic minority group has been largely repressed by the government, takes this a step further, crediting many of the government institutions there currently in charge of these “reeducation and vocational centers” at the end of the movie for their help. in production. In a world where banana companies like United Fruit Company have overthrown third world countries like Guatemala, in a world where soda companies like Coca-Cola have assassinated union leaders in their bottling plants, Disney thanking the orchestrators of a genocide is par for the course in corporate capitalism. The fact that Mulan still lost $130,000,000 for Disney, despite the corporation whoring themselves out to the glorified National Socialists called the CCP, is just an entertaining sidenote when acknowledging the cold reality that whatever works, goes on uncontested.
Part of the reason why Americans are stuck with woke entertainment, while these same companies often convey very different things abroad, is because there’s simply no alternative left for us, in an economy where almost every entertainment and news company is controlled by just six conglomerates. In such a setting, where the bourgeois feel free to push their views onto us through their monopoly on the market, Americans find themselves subjected to liberal propaganda on an endless basis. In America, to reject woke media is to try and reject huge parts of the entertainment industry as a whole, and as a culture forged by the consumption of media, that’s particularly tough for us. Americans have often defined themselves by what they consume, as that is the only meaningful identification of yourself in a capitalist market economy where what you drive, where you live, where you went to school, and so on says a lot more about you than anything else. Adding on to that, in a multicultural environment where everyone differs so greatly in terms of cultural values, media consumption for an increasingly diverse America has allowed for commonalities to still be held by a population where neighbors no longer resemble each other as much, have different interests, and different beliefs. Fast Films have become a diluted medium through which exchanges can still be had by people that hold very little in common with each other, replicating the kind of talk and dialogue that sportsball has induced in its viewers.
Even while Disney and Netflix produce flop after flop domestically, that doesn’t mean they necessarily lose market share in markets dominated by them, and given the size of the industry, that is enough for many – but not all – of their investors. As we’ve seen lately with the tying of executive compensation to stock prices, there may be an interesting pivot in the entertainment industry in the coming years, as the decision-makers of these titanic corporations decide to pivot away from Fast Films and liberal propaganda pieces in search of more profitable films in domestic markets. An interesting thing holding this process back, which is long overdue for an emergence in the market, is that companies today have to adhere to the social standards set by Blackrock’s ESG system. Blackrock, being a financial titan that controls a huge swath of the financial market, has in the last several years factored into its evaluations a company’s “commitment to social purposes.” The more an entertainment company promotes progressive values in their workplaces and their products, the higher their share prices are estimated at by Blackrock, leading to an interesting dynamic in the coming years where studio executives may find it in their interests to buck the stock evaluation criteria of Blackrock, in order to generate profits for their beleaguered companies to keep them afloat. On October 29th, 2021, Netflix stock sold at $690.31 a share and now, on August 7th, 2022, Netflix stock sells at $226.78 a share, despite their best efforts to meet the progressive goals set by Blackrock. On March 12th, 2021, Disney stock sold at $197.16 a share and now, on August 7th, 2022, Disney stock sells at $106.63 a share, despite having the second highest rating in Blackrock’s ESG system for their progressive values. The problem here is that, in mincing politics with stale and formulaic movies, these entertainment titans have divided their viewer base into fractions of the total viewers, still trying to bank on the declining recognition of franchises that they’ve ran into the ground through their creation of Fast Films.
Cinema in the future may move to become an almost philanthropic endeavor for companies, if this trend does continue, where megacorporations outside the entertainment industry use parcels of their profits to produce these progressive fast films in order to bolster their ESG ratings in Blackrock’s eyes. It’d be another facet of the capitalist economy departing from profitability, in order to satisfy systems more important than the actual products could ever be in the eyes of the people who look at the bottom lines. The problem with the death of American cinema is that with it, a part of America dies too, and the greater art scene suffers even more as it’s commodified and diluted endlessly into irrelevance. For genuine filmmaking to survive, Fast Films need to die, and for that to happen, it may very well require a complete overhaul of the current systems in place that incentivize the creation of these garbage films. All that effort just may not be worth it for movies.