Barry Diller, the longtime Hollywood veteran and former CEO of both Paramount and Fox, said the movie business as he once knew it “is over.”
In a new interview with NPR at the Sun Valley conference in Idaho, Diller said the rise of streamers and corporate conglomerates have drastically altered the industry, and the urge to create movies that will have lasting, sustaining cultural value is “finished.”
“The movie business is over… The movie business as before is finished and will never come back,” Diller told NPR on Thursday. “I used to be in the movie business where you made something really because you cared about it.”
Diller argued that the definition of “movies” itself is in such flux that “it doesn’t mean anything right now.” He also took a swipe at streaming services, bemoaning how many original streaming titles get big numbers but seem to be virtually forgotten and buried after they debut.
“These streaming services have been making something that they call ‘movies,'” he said. “They ain’t movies. They are some weird algorithmic process that has created things that last 100 minutes or so.”
Diller added that Quibi, the now-defunct streaming platform founded by one of his former protégés Jeffrey Katzenberg, was “just a bad idea” in terms of why its brief, 10-minute shows failed to gain any traction.
“It was a bad idea that had no testing ground other than a big-scale investment,” he said. “Otherwise, it would have slithered around for a while. But it was such a big-scale thing that it lived and died in a millisecond. It has no relevance on anything. The idea of professional, A-quality, 10-minutes-or-less stuff just made no sense.”
Though Diller was behind iconic films and series like “Saturday Night Fever,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Grease” and many more, he said he has “almost zero” interest in the movie business as it stands today and would prefer to continue turning his attention to Broadway plays.
Read the full interview with Barry Diller via NPR here.