Standard Article

Seismic Shifts in the American Film Industry

4. 1976 to the Present

1. Setting the Stage

  1. Thomas Schatz

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470671153.wbhaf069

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

How to Cite

Schatz, T. 2011. Seismic Shifts in the American Film Industry. The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film. 4:1:67.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


The commonplace assumption that the American film industry entered a new era in the mid-1970s, a period generally referred to as the New Hollywood, has given way more recently to the view that the industry entered yet another phase in the 1990s and 2000s — variously termed Conglomerate Hollywood, Convergent Hollywood, and Global Hollywood, epithets that well indicate the dominant forces at work in contemporary cinema. These views are quite compatible and in fact are crucially interrelated, in that the trends toward conglomeration, convergence, and globalization — and other key trends as well — took root in the burgeoning New Hollywood, as the industry reversed three decades of deep decline and entered a period of sustained growth, economic resurgence, and structural transformation that continues to this day. This recovery has involved an array of social, economic, technological, and aesthetic forces that have evolved and interacted in different ways over time, resulting in three distinct phases of industry development since the late 1970s — phases that are implicit in the organization of this volume, with separate sections focusing on the late 1970s and 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s.


  • hollywood studios;
  • Indie-film production;
  • independent sector;
  • media conglomerates;
  • ancillary markets;
  • home video;
  • globalization;
  • media convergence