Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

No escaping the crunch for arts, entertainment in 2009

December 30, 2008

bonoThe world of entertainment, especially film, tends to benefit when times are tough, as people seek to escape worries about their job, mortgage, children’s education or heating bills. But 2009 is likely to be a tough one for movies, music, theatre, art, books and most other forms of diversion you can think of.

Hollywood has already seen studios downsized and movie projects ditched thanks to budgetary concerns, a trend which some experts expect to continue into the new year. Raising finances to fund new pictures has become more complicated, and despite major releases like Harry Potter, Watchmen, Wolverine, Transformers, Angels & Demons and Star Trek to name but a few, there is no guarantee that box office attendances will reverse this year’s decline.

2008 music sales are expected to show a double-digit percentage drop in the United States, and a smaller decline in the UK, and few executives would predict anything different for 2009. Irish rockers U2 bring out their delayed new album in March, and next year will (probably) also bring new releases from Bruce Springsteen, Eminem and Robbie Williams. Also worrying for pop stars is evidence that the boom in live touring, which has helped many make up for a shortfall in record sales, may be coming to an end. All but the very biggest acts may struggle to fill that stadium, arena, auditorium or pub.

Theatre attendances could be hit by the recession, and art galleries counting their pennies may be forced to focus on smaller exhibitions to replace the risky and more expensive “blockbuster” shows that have dominated in recent years. Auction houses are also braced for a tough 2009, as falling prices for oil, metals, stocks, property and other assets take their toll on the world’s rich and super-rich.

All in all it’s not a particularly rosy outlook for 2009, but the great thing about making gloomy predictions is that everyone’s happy when you’re proved spectacularly wrong.


Gloomy predictions are, for better or worse, at least on everyone’s tongues these days and it seems to be understood that the recession may last at least 3 years and possibly much longer. Well, what to do?

As far as activities go, engage in old-fashioned stuff, like go for walks, ride bikes, play cards, make arts and crafts items out of common items around the household, clean out closets of unwanted clothes and shoes and donate these items, help kids have fun, easy sleepovers, and instead of birthday gifts, enjoy outdoor activities or tell or read stories together, getting books out of your local library.

As far as finances go, cut out junk food, eating out, and reduce utility bills. I have, as a single person, gotten my water bill down from $36/month to $10/month! It was easy, switching to 2-minute showers, washing 1 load of clothes a week in cold water, and turning off the water when brushing my teeth. Now, a savings of $26/month does not seem like much but it does add up, especially when gasoline is expected to soar again this year and next. I also dropped the insurance of $7/month from my cell phone. In addition, I keep my heat in the winter at 62 degrees. Long underwear, tops and bottoms, is the best investment yet for staying warm 24/7!

Gloom and doom? Well, it is time Americans stopped consuming and started saving; it is easy once you make a deliberate attempt everyday to do so. Once you tackle one area of consumption, you can tackle more. Americans need to reduce consumption in every aspect of daily life! Saving now will help pay for the higher gasoline prices to come.


Posted by r | Report as abusive

i think it would help theater owners and other people who rely on healthy ticket sales if hollywood would make movies the the public want to see, and not movies that they think we should see.are we going to see the oscar nominations this year total about 40.000000 in combined ticket sales again?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Hollywood would perhaps make better movies if it had only a quarter of the money, as it would be forced to rely on acting and writing, rather than computer graphics chips.

Posted by Oliver Chettle | Report as abusive

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