Doom and gloom is so 2020.
Seriously, if you take a look at some key industry markers, things were looking great in 2019! The pandemic may have taken the industry down a financial notch, but it did not wipe out the preceding decade of positive trends which are expected to continue and which we will cover in this article!
1. Growing industry revenues
Prior to the pandemic we saw a gradual incline in box office revenue over the last few decades. It was not a constant incline, as every two years it would dip then bounce back even stronger, as in 2018 after the contraction in 2017. 2021 could be the new 2018!
2. Climbing wages
The financial meltdown of 2007-08 impacted wage growth across all major industries including film. After years of stagnation, film industry workers finally saw their earnings begin to rise collectively in 2013, and climb even higher into 2019. At the very worst, we could have expected wages to slow down their climb as 2019 did not bring in as much revenue as 2018, but the overall picture is clear: compensation was getting better.
3. Rising Employment
The new millennium did not usher in a new era of film jobs, unfortunately. The numbers stagnated for years, then began dropping as a result of the 2007-08 financial meltdown. Things bottomed out in 2013 then began not only to recover in 2014 but to surpass the growth of the preceding 15 years! The steady upward trend continued right up to 2020. The industry was gaining more workers, gearing up for higher levels of activity.
4. Increasing releases
Consistent with the aforementioned growth in revenue, wages and employment, we see more and more films were being released year on year, with 2018 being the star of the show of the last 20 years. However, 2019 was still on the upward trend compared to 2017 and this no doubt would have continued into 2020 if not for the pandemic.
5. Hiring female directors
The pattern of hiring female directors in the US film industry is erratic and not consistent, however the overall trend is one of growth and we can see that 2019 was really a banner year for female directors. We see that increased inclusion is accompanied by increased revenue, wages and employment across the board.
That wraps up our look at 5 hopeful pre-pandemic signs that the film industry will recover faster. It may seem like a long way to go to get back to 2019 levels, but we believe these uplifting trends have not been erased and should give us hope for the future.