A Leaner, Meaner Hollywood

Hollywood fell on tough times in 2009. Thanks to the dwindling economy and writers’ strike, networks cut hundreds of jobs and studios made 20 percent fewer movies (a mere 520) than 2008. However, 2009 had enough bright spots to bode well for 2010's cinema, The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman writes. Notorious overspender Paramount released Paranormal Activity, a tiny film that nurtured its audience via the Internet to $107 million at the box office, in what felt like a new moviemaking model, while Avatar proved its worth with $1 billion in ticket sales. Waxman argues that tighter budgets will make directors more creative, and with stars and agents anxious to keep their jobs, they will produce better movies. But in order for studios to maintain that trimmed-down, lean-and-mean status, she writes, the "inflated salaries of the moguls at the top of the studios" must also be adjusted downward.