Aina Abiodun v. Jeffrey Katzenberg on The Future of Passive Entertainment

In response to a July 19th, 2011 Jeffrey Katzenberg interview ("It's unbelievable how bad movies have been, right?") that was published in Fortune, film futurist Aina Abiodun has written a provocative blogpost, questioning if passive entertainment really has a future.

While acknowledging recent problems, chairman Katzenberg expressed confidence in the future of films. Katzenberg was bullish on Hollywood despite a summer of bad movies and some especially jarring 3D flops - brought on, according to Mr. Katzenberg, by "people who thought that they could capitalize on what was a great, genuine excitement by movie goers for a new premium experience, and thought they could just deliver a kind of low-end crappy version of it, and people wouldn't care, or wouldn't know the difference."

Aina Abiodun isn't so sanguine. Here are some key quotes from Aina's post:

"When guys like Katzenberg and his generation who came of age in a kind of golden age of cinema talk about the possibilities of film making a comeback, some part of me feels like I’m hearing my grandfather talk about the days before everyone had a telephone, and people actually talked to each other, face to face. I’m sure it was an awesome experience, and had its merits, but we can’t stop the change from happening. Along with massively world changing inventions like vaccines and and moon travel come these other cultural changes, many of which we are less in control of than we’d like to believe... I think the ship has sailed. By the time (if ever) the movies come around to being better again, audiences will have developed different habits, and the coming generation of digital natives will not understand the meaning of “passive entertainment”."

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