Blockbusters

A couple of days ago, it was reported that Star Wars: The Last Jedi grossed over $1 billion dollars at the box office worldwide. NBCNews called it a milestone. Those of us who are readers of news publications, watchers of film review shows, or any sort of general consumer of content in the domain of film and show business are not strangers to this kind of reporting.

If something is reported in the news, and people are consuming that information, clearly on some level some group(s) of people have considered the box office dollar gross an important statistic to report. But why is that? I can look at this from many points of view:

  • Me: I am not sure why this news would be relevant to me. I did pay about $10 to see the movie, but I don’t own any shares of the Disney Corporation.
  • An investor of middle income: If you’re a middle income investor, maybe you own some Disney stock. This information of TLJ would maybe tell you to hold, buy more, or even buy some stock in knock-off industries that would see spillover. One example: The Star Wars movie does well, fans/consumers will go out and buy toys and video games, so maybe you’ll buy some Walmart stock as well.

Note that in talking about these examples, something is missing: any discussion of the creative work. Now, I’m not trying to be glib. Two things which are plainly obvious to many people are that: 1) Movies are a business, and 2) businesses are acting, and will continue to act, according to their own self-interest .

This is a topic I am going to discuss a lot on this blog. The notion of art as a product. The notion of production as art. And the empathy people can sometimes have for assembly-line corporatism as opposed to that for other human beings (the latter I believe is a symptom of the cancer which is capitalism).

This is a particular topic that trudges through economics and aesthetics (on more theoretical levels), human nature when it comes to creativity, the history of how creativity has operated and the changes within that history, and also the real effects of ideology on the creative mind.

This particular series in this blog will be a struggle session. And for lack of a better word for it, and having never been satisfied with literature I’ve come across in the past; strong in some areas, weak in others: I’m just gonna be lazy and call this shit Marsellaesthetics.

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