Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History

The Year 2022

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
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2020, 2021, 2022

The Year 2022
Event and Significance
Founder Walt Disney's entire Disney empire was originally created, almost 100 years ago beginning in 1923, as a brand focusing on creating continuing entertainment and happy, wholesome and magical experiences for children and their families. Characters such as Mickey Mouse, treasured animated feature films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and The Lion King (1994), and TV's The Wonderful World of Disney, in addition to theme parks, were part of the studio's successful line-up and strategy. However, in recent years, Disney has expanded into areas that have moved away from its trademark "family entertainment," including a focus on increased profitability, acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm, and 20th Century Fox, new avenues in digital streaming (Disney +), and most crucially, its endorsement of progressive, leftist views on marriage, gender, sex, and the family, including its revolt against more traditional views.

LGBTQ+ employees and related organizations pushed Disney's leadership into becoming highly political, for example, by taking a public stance and opposing the Parental Rights in Education bill (branded misleadingly as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, H.B. 1557) now signed into law in Florida. In addition, Disney also promoted corporate contributions to LGBTQ organizations and public messaging against the Florida bill. The law was simply aimed at protecting young children in K-3 grades from being inappropriately indoctrinated during classroom instruction with LGBTQ, sexual-orientation and gender-identity propaganda in tax-funded schools.

Disney's goal to transform much of its programming and characters to identify as 'LGBTQIA' or as racial minorities, meant that Disney's new normal would now be ruled by the commitment to their catchphrase: "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion," and would consist of pro-LGBTQ narratives, "gender non-conforming characters" and "canonical bisexual characters." The leaders of the new Disney company also strongly expressed their commitment to these goals, going so far as to eliminate words like "ladies," "gentlemen," "boys," and "girls" at its theme parks, in the name of inclusion.

A number of commentators noted that Disney had put its financial and economic future on the line and might not survive. Its decision to "Go Woke" also meant that it could potentially "Go Broke." Disney's public favorability rating plummeted to a paltry 33% when it publically came out against the Florida law. A poll commissioned by NBC News and conducted by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies showed that only 15% of respondents said their current opinion of Disney was "very positive," with another 18% viewing Disney as "somewhat positive." A combined 30% said their opinion was either "very" or "somewhat negative," while 37% said they were either "neutral" or "not sure."

Disney's stock at the end of June in 2022 was at $93 per share, down over 50% from their all-time highs about a year earlier (at $200 per share in March 2021). The last time Disney’s stock saw numbers this low (within recent history) was around March of 2020, a time at which many of its theme parks were closed. The recent downturn was linked to concerns about Disney + streaming growth, and the company's blatant political message (and involvement in controversial "hot topics") that alienated potential investors and many parents who refused to have their children exposed to such content. Disney also lost its special autonomous privileges in Florida and over $60 billion in market capitalization.
Paramount's sequel Top Gun: Maverick (2022) to the original 1986 film had a record-4 day weekend opening over Memorial Day, grossing $160.5 million (domestic) and $300 million (worldwide). Since then, it became a worldwide phenomenon at the box-office, with $713.4+ million (domestic), and over $1.48+ billion (worldwide), and was the # 1 film for the year 2022. In August of 2022, the film surpassed Titanic (1997) as the 7th-biggest film ever at the domestic box office.

Some commentators noted that the message of the film was pro-America, pro-patriotism, and pro-American pride and military strength - echoing Republican Party values, and a portend to the coming wave of support for the GOP in the November 2022 mid-term elections. It was notable that the film contained no left-wing Progressive policy positions, on issues such as climate change, transgender equality, racial justice, gay rights, and many other 'woke' ideologies.

For those looking at minor details, one of the disputed aspects of the film before it opened was the depiction of the Taiwanese flag on the back of star Tom Cruise's iconic bomber jacket. Hollywood has regularly been censoring its films to make them more acceptable to the lucrative Chinese consumer market. Although the Taiwan (Republic of China) and Japan flags were replaced with the US and UN flags in the 2019 trailer for the film (seemingly to appease and cater to China), the flags on the jacket were restored for the widespread release. The film was not, however, expected to be released in China - in part due to an expected boycott due to China's anger and objections to the flags that represented symbols of independence and defiance. [Note: Two other blockbuster films from Marvel Studios that have been deliberately kept from Chinese screens (due to related criticisms of China) were Eternals (2021) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).]

The original film Top Gun (1986) was also released during Republican President Ronald Reagan's second term when America (through its Reagan Doctrine) had made a strong resurgence, had stood up to the Soviet Union, won the Cold War, and rolled back Communism.
In mid-2022, corporate entertainment giant Paramount (the owner of Paramount Pictures, CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, England's Channel Five, and the rights to thousands of films and well-known franchises such as Star Trek and South Park), announced that it was pushing back against censorious woke-ism. The corporation reportedly refused to censor old films and shows to comply with today's left-wing standards of "politically correct." Paramount's CEO Bob Bakish was quoted as saying: "By definition, you have some things that were made in a different time and reflect different sensibilities. I don't believe in censoring art that was made historically, that's probably a mistake. It's all on demand - you don't have to watch anything you don't want to."

On the other hand, Netflix, Disney +, and the BBC removed, modified, or put trigger warnings on certain films that didn't comply with the modern "PC" line. It provided more evidence that woke leftists have often mis-characterized and mislabeled as 'offensive' or 'threatening' facts or opinions that were inconsistent or incongruent with their collectivist worldview.
There were indications that the movie-theatre business was finally making a significant comeback after nearly two years of dismal returns at the theatrical box-office due to COVID fears and restrictions. No longer were moviegoers waiting for big-budget Hollywood movies to end up on streaming services that could be watched from home, rather than attending the local multiplex. According to a poll from the National Research Group, a record-high of 88% of moviegoers had now become "very or somewhat comfortable" going out to the movies, compared to 59% a year earlier. However, there was still considerable ground to make up - box office tallies were down 33% compared to the same weekend in 2019, possibly in part also due to fewer movies being released by the studios.

In mid-2022, there were three straight weekends when more than one major movie managed to sell a sizeable number of tickets. Quite a few films were bringing in healthy figures, in addition to bolstering support from two long-lasting holdovers - the perfect escapist popcorn film Top Gun: Maverick (2022) at $713.4 million (domestic) and Jurassic World Dominion (2022) (at $376 million domestic). Previously, the only films that had been successful were one-off superhero franchise films, such as Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) (at $213.6 million domestic), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) (at $814.1 million domestic), and the comic-book film The Batman (2022) (at $369.3 million domestic).

Universal Pictures' gay rom-com Bros (2022) was a major flop during its opening weekend premiere (at $4.8 million), on a budget of approximately $60 million. The studio primarily marketed the film as a milestone first - it was the first LGBTQ mainstream studio romantic comedy to feature an almost entirely 2SLGBTQIA+ cast - rather than promoting it as a series of funny situations, as many reviewers claimed. Variety noted: "While inclusivity and glass-ceiling breaking are important factors worth celebrating and can stir up interest in a movie, they can't be the sole focal point of a movie’s marketing." Producer Judd Apatow's LGBTQ comedy's plot was about two white, cisgender, gay men falling-in-love - popular, NY queer history podcast host Bobby Leiber (Billy Eichner) and hunky estate lawyer Aaron (Luke Macfarlane). Actor and co-writer Eichner claimed that the reason for the film's under-performance could be blamed on straight people not showing up, although LGBTQ advocates probably didn't show up either.


Versatile Irish-British and American actress and singer Angela Lansbury passed away on October 11th at the age of 96. She had performed for eight decades in various venues, including film, the stage, and on television. She never won a competitive Academy Award Oscar, but was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actress for Gaslight (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). She received an Honorary Oscar Award in 2014 for being "an entertainment icon who has created some of cinema's most memorable characters, inspiring generations of actors." Her best film role was as Mrs. Eleanor Iselin - the "Queen of Diamonds" matriarch who controlled her son Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) as a sleeper agent. She also appeared in a number of childrens' films, including Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), The Last Unicorn (1982), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Anastasia (1997). Another of her most well-known roles was in the American who-dunit series Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996) as Jessica Fletcher - a fictional writer and sleuth.

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