There’s no denying that the rise of the streaming service has fundamentally changed the entire entertainment business as we know it, with mega budget blockbusters and prestige episodic dramas that don’t even sniff the inside of a theater or network television becoming more and more prevalent, and almost all of the industry’s biggest names have jumped on the bandwagon at some point or another.
Additionally, the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a seismic impact on how the industry approaches its most well-known properties, with the vast majority now designed with shared universes and longevity in mind first and foremost, often to the detriment of a first installment that becomes so preoccupied with what’s next that it forgets to tell a good story.
Put those two elements together, and you get the opinion of Matt Damon, who lamented the current state of cinema in a new interview, with the Academy Award winner highly critical of the shortened attention spans and homogenized style of filmmaking that comes from streaming and superheroes, respectively.
“The way they watch is different to how we did. How can you watch a movie if you are texting? As someone who makes these things I can’t say I love that. Movies as we know them aren’t going to be a thing in our kids’ lives. And that makes me sad. It made the most profitable movie, one that could travel around the world. And if you want a movie to travel and play big you want the least amount of cultural confusion. So there is the rise of the superhero movie, right? They’re easy for everyone. You know who the good person is, who the bad person is. They fight three times and the good person wins twice.
Of course, we should point out that this is the same Matt Damon who can currently be seen in HBO Max exclusive No Sudden Move, and will make his second appearance in the MCU next summer when Thor: Love and Thunder arrives, so it’s not as though he hasn’t been part of the very same problem he decries.
He does have a point, though, and while he’s not quite going full Francis Ford Coppola, the long term after effects of the Coronavirus pandemic could see things lean even harder in the direction of streaming if the box office fails to mount a sustained recovery by the end of this year at least.