I saw a video recently where a professional actor was talking to a group of press and Hollywood industry folks. He said something very interesting that explains a lot of what I’ve been talking about in terms of Western pop culture in general and movies in particular.
He said that in terms of a business model, the Hollywood industry makes movies mostly for two demographics: 14 year-olds and China.
If you think about it, it explains pretty much everything.
If you make a movie that appeals to 14 year-olds and China, you can’t go wrong. You can spend millions and get a huge profit on it.
Making movies for 14 year-olds means you’ll appeal not only to 14 year-olds, but to most teenagers and little kids. This also means that a good deal of adults will go see the movie too, unlike if you make a movie for six year-olds. These adults may not love the movie as much as the 14-year-olds but they will go, meaning they will buy the ticket.
China, as I’ve shown on this blog many times, is rapidly becoming the largest market in the world. On top of that, China’s pop culture is based around the theater where overacting and crazy stuff is the norm. This is why you see lots of overacting and corniness in Chinese pop culture you don’t see in Western culture.
This means you can make a really stupid movie that looks really good and has bad acting, a horrible plot, and a script that makes no sense, and the Chinese will love it and send millions of dollars to Hollywood to see it. And this market will continue to grow.
This explains why the Transformers and Fast and Furious movies make billions of dollars and do so damn well despite “normal” people and critics hating them. 14 year-olds and China love them, so Hollywood will make more of them.
It’s the same reason why they can make these utterly dreadful Star Wars movies that make absolutely no sense, yet they still make a billion dollars every time. 14 year-olds and China love them, so it doesn’t matter. And before you say it, that Han Solo movie was an exception to this, since no one wanted to see a Han Solo movie without Harrison Ford. The Rise of Skywalker movie in December will suck, and it will make a billion dollars again. Just watch. 14 year-olds and China will love it.
This is also the reason why you see the movie theaters flooded with all these cheap-ass horror movies. Who goes to see horror movies? 14 year-old girls. So Hollywood can shit out a cheap, crappy horror movie full of stupid jump scares for about $6 million and make a huge profit from the teenage girls who don’t care that it’s bad. It’s a smart business model.
I’ve talked before about how there are no mid-budget movies anymore like in the movie heyday of the 1980s. Everything is either a gigantic, Avengers-level blockbuster or a really low-budget cheapy like these horror movies. There’s nothing much in between. Why? Because 14 year-olds and China like low budget and giant budget. Mid-budget movies would be for people like you and me, non-Chinese adults. But Hollywood doesn’t give a shit about you and me. We’re not a safe enough profit center for them.
That doesn’t mean that all material made for 14 year-olds and China is bad. The Marvel movies are fantastic to a level of consistent excellence we’ve never seen before in a long-running franchise. Avengers Infinity War was incredible and Avengers Endgame was just as good despite being a very different kind of movie.
But, if you pay close attention, the model is still the same: 14 year-olds and China. 14 year-olds and China love big, exciting, explosive movies about superheroes. The fact the Marvel movies are actually good is an exception to the rule. Look at the dreadful DC movies from the past few years to see what I mean (thought I admit Aquaman was pretty fun). Unlike every other franchise, the Marvel movies just happen to be headed by people like Kevin Feige who love the source material, as opposed to the people in charge of Star Wars and Star Trek who hate the source material… but all of them are targeted towards 14 year-olds and China as key demographics.
Do exceptions exist? Sure, but mostly these are non-movie properties. Game of Thrones is certainly not made for 14 year-olds or China and it’s done just fine, but Game of Thrones was adapted from novels by two guys who, again, loved the source material. That’s pretty rare these days.
Even Game of Thrones couldn’t survive as a thing of quality forever. Those same two guys who adapted George R.R. Martin’s books so well were dreadful at writing their own stuff once they ran out of the source material. Seasons 1-5 were good, even better than the books, which I had to stop reading because the plot went nowhere. But season 7 was completely ridiculous and season 8 was so dreadful that I seriously couldn’t believe what I was watching.
I don’t see a solution to this 14 year-olds and China thing, other than the technological answer I talked about before. Yet, my goal here is to help you exploit the problems of the world for your personal gain rather than just complain about them, so here’s my advice (some of which I’m following myself):
1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: China is the world’s long-term future. The entire Western world is slowly collapsing as China and much of the East is slowly rising. Yes, China has a lot of problems on its hands right now, with more to come. It’s becoming stupidly authoritarian, it’s facing a massive real estate collapse, it’s in for a massive demographic problem due to the one child policy, and so on.
But none of that matters in the long-term. During its rise, America faced recessions, full-on depressions, civil wars, assassinations, mass violence, and yet it still eventually came to rule the world despite all of these problems. China will do the same, eventually.
This means you should start thinking about how you can take advantage of this growing market. The Chinese consumer is excited, aggressive, and motivated. What can you sell to the Chinese? What industries are going to do well during China’s rise? Or China’s problems? How can you take advantage of the new Silk Road?
Really think about this stuff. Millionaires and even billionaires are going to be made over the next few decades from those Westerners who figure out what the Chinese want and give it to them.
If you’re curious about what my plans are, I’m going to expand my tech marketing company into Hong Kong, and then later to China. I may even consider a franchise model. I also have an entire Alpha Male 2.0 For The Chinese Man product line outlined in great detail, though I will need some Chinese Alphas living in China to help me complete it.
2. In terms of those 14 year-olds, current Western society worships their children in ways we never have before. Helicopter parents are now the norm. Kids’ birthdays used to cost about $3 for a cake, but are now hundreds of dollars because you have to take all the little kiddies out to some kind of giant event-area with play structures, prizes, pizza, and so on. Parents actively fight teachers when kids get bad grades. And so on.
Is it all silly? Yup, but that’s not the point. How can you exploit this? What kinds of expensive and/or high-margin products can you now sell to kids or young teenagers (or more specifically, to their parents) that 20 years ago would never be imagined? For Christ’s sake, there are friggin’ ten year-olds walking around with $700 iPhones these days. If mom and dad (or more accurately, single mom) are going to shell out that kind of money for their perfect little angel, certainly you could be one of those making a pretty penny on these sales.
If I were to start a fourth company (and I’m not), I would seriously consider some kind of high-end toy company or consumer electronics products targeted towards middle-class 12 year-old boys. If Hollywood can make millions on this market, why can’t I?
More importantly, why can’t you?