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The 10 Commandments of Movies in 2024

Margot Robbie in 'Barbie'
Margot Robbie in 'Barbie' Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Scott Mendelson
December 18, 2023

As this year ends, there are fewer and fewer truisms regarding what works and what doesn’t in the theatrical movie business. Things were already shifting, in 2019, as we saw the end of Disney’s dominant Avengers and Star Wars sagas. Then Covid came, and then this year’s labor stoppages deprived the studios of time that could have been spent adjusting to the new normal. 

Now, as Hollywood takes stock of a year that will fall short of $9 billion at the domestic box office, down from $11 billion pre-Covid (and with 2024 looking even scarier), here are 10 rules—some older, some newer—that can help executives decide what movies to make, and (more importantly) how to make them. After all, on paper, Wonka looked like a much bigger risk than The Marvels. Herewith…