December 11, 2010
Bah! Humbug to Christmas Movies?
LA Times story claims that 'Hollywood scraps its Christmas spirit'
Noting that there are no Christmas movies releasing this year -- except for the critically panned Nutcracker in 3D -- and none planned for 2011, an article in the LA Times business section begins by saying that Hollywood is now playing the Grinch.
"The release of new Christmas movies long has been as much a tradition of the season as the annual late-night TV showing of It's a Wonderful Life and shoppers stampeding stores on Black Friday," the article notes. "But this year, there's hardly a holiday movie in sight."
The Times says the trend "reflects a change in traditional Hollywood thinking. Family films are as popular as ever . . . but the film world thinks Yuletide themes are getting a bit long in the whiskers."
The story quotes producer Joe Roth (Home Alone, The Santa Clause), a former chairman of Disney Studios: "The way to do a big-budget film these days is to take stories that everyone in the world knows and take them in a new direction. But no one's come up with a fresh way to do a holiday movie, so we're all doing it with other kinds of stories."
In a separate piece, Times columnist Steven Zeitchik flat-out asks, "Is Hollywood mounting a war on Christmas?" He concludes his op-ed with these words: "Hollywood executives' assumption is that Americans would rather come to theaters to see stories about pretty much anything other than Christmas. Are they right?"
Meanwhile, AWR Hawkins at Big Hollywood says the Times is playing loose with statistics, and that the Christmas movie is alive and well.
What do you think?