Nolte: Woke Hollywood Panics – ‘People Are Not in the Moviegoing Habit!’

A theater sits empty shortly before the start of a scheduled film showing, attended by a h
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The domestic box office is down 24 percent compared to last year and 42 percent—42 percent! lol—compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

And yes, Hollywood is panicking, but Hollywood and the sycophantic Hollywood media are still lying to themselves (and to us) about the reason why.

“We are concerned,” one studio insider told the far-left Hollywood Reporter. “People are not in the moviegoing habit [.]”

Yeah, they’re not in the moviegoing habit because movies suck.

That’s what’s killing moviegoing—movies suck. Ever since Hollywood went woke, and we’re talking five dreadful years now, more and more people have wisely given up their “moviegoing habit.”

Naturally, Hollywood and its sycophantic media refuse to admit this. Instead of looking at this year’s flops and asking why they flopped, they blame last year’s strike:

Toward the end of the SAG-AFTRA talks, studio chiefs were accused of being disingenuous when saying their 2024 release calendars were in danger every day the four-month strike dragged. Now the impact of those warnings is coming into view. Without the usual parade of tentpoles, including a Marvel superhero pic to kick things off over the first weekend of May, the early summer box office is in tatters after a tough winter and spring. Domestic box office revenue year-to-date is $2.68 billion, down a whopping 24 percent over the same corridor last year and 42 percent behind 2019, the last normal year before the COVID-19 crisis, according to Comscore. In fact, every week has been down this year from 2023; the smallest gap was 11 percent, when Dune: Part Two and Godzilla v. Kong: The New Empire opened.

Now the question is whether theatrical “can survive the post-pandemic world and the rise of streaming:”

Box office observers agree that the ecosystem is incredibly fragile but hang on to the hope that moviegoing will pick up in the coming weeks when all-audience tentpoles Inside Out 2, Despicable Me 4 and Deadpool & Wolverine come out, followed by Beetlejuice Beetlejuice in early September. But there won’t be a steady volume of product until 2025. Nor does it help that many movies are opening behind expectations (all eyes will be on Bad Boys: Ride or Die this weekend to see if it can clear $48 million to $50 million in its launch). “We are concerned,” says one studio insider. “You’d be a fool to not be thinking about that. People are not in the moviegoing habit and are firmly ensconced in appointment viewing, which is a huge problem. But there hasn’t been a real igniter.”


There is no shortage of superhero movies in 2024. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hit theaters eight days before 2024 began. Its predecessor made $335 million domestic and $1.15 billion worldwide. The sequel did about a third of those numbers.

Madame Web is a 2024 superhero movie. It grossed $44 million domestic.

That’s two superhero movies already released in 2024. So the problem isn’t a shortage of superhero movies. The problem is those superhero movies sucked.

We’re halfway through the year and already we’ve had a Godzilla-Kong movie, a Dune sequel, a Kung Fu Panda sequel, a freaken Ghostbuters sequel, a Planet of the Apes sequel, a Garfield remake, and a Mad Max spin-off. That’s seven world-class IP titles plus two superhero movies released over a mere six months. So it is beyond obvious that the problem is not a lack of product or a lack of wide releases or a lack of hot IP titles. The problem is…

Movies suck, and Normal People no longer go to the movies because after five years of everything being gay and preachy and smug and left-wing propaganda—after they wasted so much time and money only to be bored and insulted, they wisely got out of the moviegoing habit.

Deadpool and Wolverine is about to 1) blow the doors off the box office and 2) prove every excuse wrong.

What we have finally–finally!– is a movie advertised as cool guys doing cool stuff in front of hot chicks. So, trust me, people are about to get back into the moviegoing habit because if you make a movie people actually want to see, they will come out and see it, and Normal People want to see cool guys doing cool stuff in front of hot chicks.

It’s called wish fulfillment.

This formula is not difficult, you sanctimonious idiots.

John Nolte’s first and last novel, Borrowed Time, is winning five-star raves from everyday readers. You can read an excerpt here and an in-depth review here. Also available in hardcover and on Kindle and Audiobook


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