If You Like Hollywood Dramas, 2015 is Going to be a Great Year

By  · Published on January 8th, 2015

The Weinstein Company

Over the past decade or so, studios have appeared to move away from mid-budget movies, particularly dramas. There’s only so much room in the budget for films without tights. The void was filled, as it always has been, by the independent film scene, so we got a slightly higher profile on the exact movies that needed it. With the expanded access of online streaming, the timing worked out nicely, but it still feels as though a certain brand of movie isn’t being made all that much anymore. It’s tough to imagine City Slickers getting made these days. Maybe even harder to imagine a movie like Witness.

As you can tell, I grew up in the 90s – a time of mid-budget, Hollywood studio mastery.

Fortunately, there are two things that point to 2015 as a turning point for studio filmmaking away from significant dependence on superheroes and sequels. First is the success of Universal in the face of not having any traditional blockbusters in 2014. They gambled on Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne battling with Zac Efron, Liam Neeson battling a plane and Scarlett Johansson battling everyone, and they did well.

Second is the surprisingly large list of mid-budget studio dramas slated for this year. If you’re worried 2015 will be another cycle of the same on the studio front, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

To get an idea of how many we’re looking at, here’s a list of offerings from the six major studios:

And that’s only populated from our Most Anticipated list – there may be many, many more surprises out there. The list gets even larger when you include work from studios/distributors that have become mainstays in the past few years (like Summit and Roadside Attractions) and well-established mini-majors like TWC:

We’re seeing a lot of history, and going to the USSR a lot, but the bottom line is a healthy list of potentially great mid-level dramas. Even without the usual padding of bloated Oscar bait and the indies that will emerge from the festival circuit, this is a substantial crop. They should make a nice antidote to the all-singing, all-dancing action that will attempt to bust our blocks in a summer that last 6 months.

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