It seems that with every new release that includes part of the “woke” agenda, Hollywood is hemorrhaging money. The 2023 numbers fell an entire half a billion dollars short of the projected total, yet Hollywood seems to think everyone isn’t fed up with woke media yet. Let’s see why that might be a problem.

Hollywood Has A Lot of Issues Lately

Most people would remember the recent SAG writers’ strike, but Hollywood has faced a lot more in terms of delays, disruptions, and flops. It almost seems like Hollywood is wasting money.

Source: Flickr/Gnaphron

Most recently, superhero films, which were very popular until recently, have been declining in popularity. Madame Web, for instance, saw a 67% decline after its first week in theaters.

Woke Media Driven By Unpopular Messaging

Hollywood has been trying to reach out to regular people and create films they think people want to see. Unfortunately, the people they ask all live in the same state.

Source: Flickr/Jenny Cestnik

The result is that the media is poorly received and focuses on values and aesthetics that don’t appeal to the core audience. Hollywood seems to be trying to sell a message and condemning anyone who doesn’t believe the same as it does.

What’s Woke?

Woke is challenging to define since different people use the term in their own way. Overall, something is woke if it tries to sell a particular brand of moral messaging.

Source: Flickr/Samuel

What makes woke messaging egregious is how it treats the audience. It turns them into children and talks down at them. No one likes this, least of all because it comes from a movie.

Writers’ Strike Takes Its Toll

Understandably, writers are among the most important parts of any film production. However, during the writers’ strike, many people simply avoided working for Hollywood because of their contracts.

Source: Flickr/Arizona Jones

Hollywood’s attempt to make writers less important fell flat on its face, and the strike was responsible for months of delays, contributing to an estimated loss of half a billion dollars.

Superhero Fatigue And Woke Messaging Sink Marvel Releases

Hollywood has also seen its share of flops from Marvel, which is a surprise to many who remember the powerful flagship releases the comic book creator doled out every summer.

Source: Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Under Disney’s ownership, the company has floundered. With no solid plan in place, ingrained woke messaging, and a lack of substance in its scripts, it came as no surprise to fans when their films flopped.

Fewer Films Being Released As Well

In 2019, just before the COVID pandemic shut the world (and movie theaters) down for the long haul, Hollywood recorded a release slate encompassing 108 films during the year.

Source: Flickr/Gail Frederick

In 2023, that number declined to 88 films. Fewer films, coupled with bad writing and delayed release schedules, continue to be a problem in 2024, and there are some new problems to worry about.

Projections Raise Concerns

Hollywood expects 2024 to be a relatively decent year, with expected income to hover around $8 billion – a more conservative estimate than 2023’s $9 billion.

Source: Flickr/Brian Evans

With the massive spending on projects that just aren’t seeing a return, Hollywood has to learn some lessons about what it’s doing wrong and quickly. No one wants to see another fiasco year.

Adjusting Budgets And Examining What Works

It has been a long time since Hollywood hasn’t released a blockbuster film that relied on preachy moralizing to sell itself. And that’s why most moviegoers aren’t going to the movies anymore.

Source: Flickr/Tax Credits

Big-budget flops, poor-quality scripts, and an overbearing amount of special effects have turned movies from something to look forward to into a display of technology. Hollywood may need to adjust its budgets over the next year.

Successes Have Happened

Despite the heavy downturn, one or two stand-out movies have underlined what most of Hollywood is doing wrong because they do it right.

Source: Flickr/Larry Lamsa

Films like Barbie and Oppenheimer have become sleeper favorites because they speak to their audience. The writing in both is solid, and they have excellent beat development that audiences have been craving.

Optimism Of An Industry Rebound

Hollywood has had a hard time making things people want to see. While there have been strokes of genius, most of the public has moved on from big-budget spectacles of the past.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, within the town, there is a lot of optimism about a potential rebound in 2025. Studios expect things to turn a corner by that time, with people getting more used to movies again.

Things Have to Change

If this rebound is going to happen, Hollywood needs to have more success than just two films for an entire season. Hollywood has to start treating its audience like an audience for that to happen.

Source: Flickr/Christine

Most of the films that audiences avoid are the ones that try to sell morality to those watching the movie. Companies like Disney are more interested in their ESG scores than their media.

Rebuilding How Films Should Be

Films that stand out as masterpieces or classics in their own right, like Dune and Barbie, don’t try to sell the audience anything but are created to pay homage to something their audiences love.

Source: Flickr/barbiefotos

Films like those have excellent writing and in-jokes that the audience gets, and don’t try to change too much about the source work they’re based on. The result is a good film.

Money Talks

Companies like Disney have made woke messaging a core part of their movie experience; in the past, they could afford to get away with it. Now, however, consumers are pushing back.

Source: Flickr/Mick C

With more and more people avoiding movies put out by this media giant, it seems they are learning the lesson that woke movies don’t sell.

Will Hollywood Turn Around?

While many studios are optimistic about a change, managers and directors will need to work hard to move away from what they’ve been making to date. Woke media isn’t anyone’s favorite.

Source: Flickr/大尾黑

If Hollywood thinks this is a fad, and eventually, things will return to normal without them having to change what they make, they may be in for a rude awakening. For the first time in a while, the public is voting with its wallet for what it wants to see.