Science Confirms the Decline of the Hollywood Comedy

comedyfilms_nomuraVia Quartz, a recent study on Hollywood films has confirmed the obvious: As more and more non-US moviegoers are accounting for the industry’s yearly profits (70% in 2013), comedy — the least translatable movie genre — is on the decline as a result. From the article:

But the emerging world enthusiasm for Hollywood films does not extend to comedies, or at least not relative to its love of action movies and animated films. In China, for example, US comedies account for only 10% of box office spending, compared to 25% in the US … By contrast, Hollywood action films are 44% of the box office in China (the latest Transformers release has broken just about every box office record in the country) as against 36% in the US.

Whether comedy’s declining profitability on the big screen is due to its lack of international adaptability, a recent slump in quality, or the rising popularity of internet and TV comedy here in the states, if this research is any indication, it’ll always be the underdog compared to big-budget action and animated movies.

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