Last month, Steven Spielberg predicted a Hollywood implosion. Do recent big-budget disasters already prove him right?
By Ben Kenigsberg
Steven Spielberg saw it coming. In June, speaking at a University of Southern California event with George Lucas, the Lincoln director said, “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm”—forcing the industry to rethink its reliance on gargantuan spectacles. A month later, the first part of Spielberg’s prediction has already come true: The latest high-profile calamity at the box office is the ill-buzzed R.I.P.D., which followed such heavily marketed titles as Pacific Rim, The Lone Ranger, White House Down, and After Earth in failing to attract its expected audience. Meanwhile, The Conjuring, a smaller, Exorcist-style chiller from Saw director James Wan, more than doubled its production budget in just one weekend.