23 Semi-Surefire Hollywood Predictions, Predicaments and Preoccupations for 2023

stranger things cast
The sprawling cast of Stranger Things recently closed new deals to return for the show’s fifth and final season. Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Netflix
Matthew Belloni
January 2, 2023

At this point, would anyone be surprised to see Elon Musk or Kanye West offer predictions for the year in Hollywood? The Writers Guild will (or won’t!) strike. Apple will (or won’t!) buy a studio. Yadda yadda… everyone’s got a take on this stuff, and most are wrong… until maybe they’re right, and then the victory lap ensues.  

The bottom line: This year’s gonna be bad. The ad market hasn’t yet hit its low, inflation and interest rates have stunted dealflow, the movie business is expected to improve but there aren’t enough releases planned to match pre-pandemic box office, it’s unclear if the advertising tiers will reverse the fortunes of the streamers, and the Wall Street investors who have killed the entertainment companies’ share prices are the same people who encouraged them to go all-in on streaming in the first place. Not great! 

You don’t need me to predict all that, so instead, for the second year in a row, I polled sources for more offbeat observations and areas of preoccupation in 2023 that you might not be thinking about, both big picture and small. Some of these are very specific, and some are just representative of trends that I care about heading into the year. Here’s last year’s list, so you can check me (I did OK!). And if you disagree, tell me why at matt@puck.news.