It’s official: Suburbicon, the home-invasion comedy directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon, is one of the biggest box-office flops of all time. It only earned $2.8 million at the box-office so far, with a combined production and distribution budget of $35 million.
Nobody is flocking to watch Suburbicon, despite boasting such Hollywood royalty as Clooney and Damon. And that’s the point.
Clooney & Damon’s era—which, by default, is also Harvey Weinstein’s era, Ben Affleck’s era, Joss Whedon’s era, and others—is OVER.
Say it with me now: It’s. Over.
The 1990s are over, the Aughts are over, and the 2010’s are almost over. It’s over.
And part of what brought that Hollywood royalty down was their insistence to get involved in politics—and tell people who they should vote for and how to live their lives—when they had so much dirty laundry and skeletons in their closet themselves.
The American people as a whole has seen through it. Both people on the left and right have seen through it. The continuing stream of sexual harassment/rape claims being leveled at Hollywood has horrified the left. Being basically referred to as hicks and deplorables by actors and directors they used to like alienated the Trump-loving right. So where does that leave Hollywood?
For a long time, the industry managed to maintain the illusion of being alive and well based largely on the illusion created by the media. The industry, media, and a handful of niche fans lived in a self-referential bubble.
But that bubble has burst. Box-office is the worst it’s been in decades. “Can’t fail” and “sure thing” movies like Suburbicon are dead on arrival. The emperor has been seen to have no clothes.
And the only genre who has really flourished in this environment is Horror—partially because, I would submit, that they tend to not feature Hollywood Royalty. In fact, the one horror film that really bombed this year, The Mummy, featured exactly that type of Hollywood Royalty.
The era launched in the 1990’s is no more. The parrot is dead, deceased. But it might be a little while longer before Hollywood realizes it; in the meantime, they will continue making movies to amuse themselves.