WORLDVIEW: So long silver screen: the movie business just had its worst summer in decade

I recently read Wilkie Collins’ famous 1868 detective story The Moonstone, which is widely considered the first modern English detective novel. It remains a great book, but one of the things that struck me as I read was how dramatically entertainment has changed. The people in Collins’ novel spend much of their leisure time going for long walks (without podcasts to listen to!), playing cards, singing together at the piano, occasionally going to the theatre or ballet, and reading.

Contrast that menu of entertainments to your own life, or mine. While I still do plenty of reading, my long walks are accompanied by podcasts or streaming music, and a lot of my entertainment comes in the form of YouTube videos, TV shows, video games, and movies. Entertainment options have mushroomed in the last 100 years, starting with radio and film and expanding to augmented reality games and streaming video today.

It was in this context that I read the news that the U.S. movie business has just had i...

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