Monday, April 7, 2014

Mainstreaming

It's hard to believe how mainstream speculative fiction has become.

HBO GO crashed on Sunday within minutes of Game of Thrones season 4 going up. It's epic fantasy, and people crashed the server trying to get it.

Two science fiction movies (Gravity and Her) received nominations for Best Picture in this year's Oscars.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the top grossing movie in 2013. Science fiction.
Second? Iron Man 3.
Man of Steel was fifth, Gravity was sixth, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug eighth and Oz The Great And Powerful 10th.

Six genre movies in the top ten. No, wait. Frozen was third and Monsters University was seventh. Children's movies have always welcomed fantasy.

The only movies not speculative fiction by some definition in the top ten for 2013 were Despicable Me 3 and Fast & Furious 6 - both from popular, ongoing franchises.

And 2014 is starting the same way - The LEGO Movie wins (It has to count, I mean, it's a big budget movie that takes off all of those lego stop motion animations). Divergent (YA sci-fi) third. 300: Rise of An Empire (Sword and sandals) fourth. Captain America, which has only had one weekend open, sixth.

I'm trying to decide if this is good or bad. It's good, perhaps, that the rest of the world is finally seeing what us geeks enjoy - but is it a good thing for either our subculture or mainstream society? I think the jury's out.