Whoa Hollywood, What Happened?


The Hollywood film business has been thriving and making money on a daily basis for decades—until now. This little thing called COVID-19 snuck up on the world and prolonged every event imaginable. Hollywood major movies were not an exception to this. 

Since the coronavirus, movies haven’t seemed quite the same; announced movies have lost their hype, new movies have been streamed but decreased in favor, and old DVD movies are starting to take the lead in filmed entertainment as people revisit old favorites. 

It’s evident that most movies have been lacking quality, advertisement, and accessibility. COVID-19 has prolonged movies and restricted access to most new ones. Hollywood film content has declined and the cinema population along with it, according to Business Insider

With a wide variety of streaming services now derailing movie theaters, society’s natural logic hovers on the fact that Disney+ formats $6.99 per month with hundreds of movies, whereas a movie theater charges $11.99 for each movie that you watch. 

Due to current events, many new movies have been postponed. And the film business’s income and publicity have seemed to postpone along with them. This was an inevitable and unhealthy occurrence. 

Bingham theater and film studies teacher Brittany Andersen argues that this could actually be a good thing: “Where the entire film industry is put on hold, it’s gonna be a great thing that they saved those great movies for us when we are out of the dark because we’re going to want to go celebrate and go to movies and people are going to want to go back out, which is great for the entertainment industry. I just hope it doesn’t backfire because they have spent an entire year not creating films.” 

People are hungering more and more for life to return back to normal since the pandemic. Andersen is right; movies can be that saving grace.


Hollywood decided to be a knight in shining armor and soothe this pandemic “darkness.” They revived a brand-new movie (exclusive to Disney+, but still released): “Mulan” by Niki Cargo.

When “Mulan” was first announced to be made live action and released in 2020, it was all people could talk about. The excitement was widespread and society was on the edge of its seat. The dreadful day arrived and it came out. People watched it, and then half of the human population that had to painfully sit through that movie wanted a refund of their money. 

Here’s why I think “Mulan” flopped as hard as it did: first, and most obvious, Mushu. Where was he?! References are not enough, Disney! How do you leave a fan’s favorite, fun-loving, joke-making, dragon out of the movie he was made for? That’s like leaving Simba out of “The Lion King.” Or like going to a hockey game without witnessing a fist fight. It’s just completely unheard of.

Not to mention the fact that Mulan’s ancestors are portrayed only as a broken, dormant phoenix statue in this movie. What about the stinkin’ glorious ancestors of transparency and joy that we witnessed in the first movie? Where were they? We miss their humor and their insight on life, as well as their loving background in aiding Mulan in her journey. This was a low blow.  

The culture and plotline was smothered by a lack of acting ability and the distraction of missing events. Not only was “Mulan” a disappointment, but it was a prime example of what not to do in a re-creation film: it was missing characters and songs that were originally in it. “Mulan” had a chance and only took it with 51% effort, according to the audience votes on RottenTomatoes.

Some may state that this movie was actually pretty good, and that’s understandable. But take into consideration the age group that holds this opinion. The argument is vastly different between older and younger people. 

Andersen sheds light on why this might be the case: “When you are at an influential age in childhood and watch a film over and over again, then see a remake of it, it better be stinkin’ phenomenal for it to compare.” She points out a major fact, that our generation will accept none other than our original childhood films and no re-creations are ever really quite the same. 

Most Bingham students may agree that “Mulan” was a bust and didn’t meet the expectations that it needed to. This very well could be because current generations grew up watching old classics like “Mulan” and are disappointed when remakes don’t even compare to the originals. 

I think the safer option for Hollywood is to not release movies until full restrictions have been lifted because they already tried to give us this terrible one. “Mulan” definitely did not meet expectations nor did it relieve that COVID-caused “darkness.”

In all reality, Hollywood is declining in every economic category. COVID-19 hit hard and the film industry fell heavily. If they don’t come up with a plan to show movies and re-engage this international audience, the “backfire,” that Andersen mentioned, will come. And it will come hard.