It’s important to consider the source when outlandish claims are made.
Barry Diller is a film industry icon, and the former chairman of two Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to both the history and future of films.
And according to Diller, the experience of going to the theater is as dead as disco and it’s never coming back. NPR did an interview with him in Sun Valley, Idaho at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference which attracts the top media and tech titans in the U.S.
“The movie business is over. The movie business as before is finished and will never come back.”
Pretty bold statement, and there’s a few reasons he believes the glory days of film making are far behind us.
The pandemic crushed ticket sales and even closed a number of cinemas permanently.
Streaming has completely changed America’s viewing habits, especially when it comes to movies. And not for the better according to Diller.
“These streaming services have been making something that they call ‘movies.’ They ain’t movies. They are some weird algorithmic process that has created things that last 100 minutes or so.”
And he also believes the commitment from studios is simply not there. He was in the trenches in the heyday of the film industry, when it was a completely different world than it is now, with little or no influence from China, less of an obsession with franchises, and a much more exciting and fun time altogether.
“I used to be in the movie business where you made something really because you cared about it.”
Diller told NPR he’s basically out of the film business altogether, and concentrating on producing Broadway plays instead.