In an age of increasingly familiar extended universes, individual films simply don’t have the same cultural impact as they did 20 years ago.
The move towards shared universes may have opened up the possibilities of serialised storytelling, but the conveyor-belt production of sequels, spin-offs and reboots has undoubtedly had a homogenising effect on Hollywood. Audiences have become atomised through targeted content marketing and online distribution, and as a result, the film industry has reshaped itself with a combination of niche releases and cross-media shared universes. In the current climate, the notion of the era-defining event movie feels increasingly obsolete.
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