Hollywood Calls a Bottom ... Happy Days Must be Ahead!
Have you been to a movie in a real movie theater lately?
If you haven't and are easily frightened or depressed, you might want to hold off on actually taking your seat until the last minute.
That's because if you do get there on time, you're in for at least a half dozen previews of films that are all about the same thing: the end of the world.
You'd have to be really avoiding the movie listings lately to not notice that every major studio has released two to three movies this year alone that all begin or end with the end of humanity on Earth, a massive destruction of our ecosystem, dystopian misery and a general apocalyptic vision of the future.
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Hollywood's most creative minds truly seem to be trying to outdo each other with just how bad a picture they can paint of the next few centuries or even decades to come.
Let me just give you a quick synopsis of just some of the endless Armageddon films recently released or going to be released soon:
"World War Z": Zombies deplete most of the world's population, nuclear war destroys parts of the Middle East, Brad Pitt still has great hair.
"After Earth": Apparently, Will Smith's son Jaden did something REALLY bad at home and his punishment was having to co-star in a really bad movie with his dad.
"Elysium": The citizens of the satellite city Elysium live a life of luxury while the citizens of a ruined Earth struggle to survive and can't penetrate Elysium's anti-immigration laws … was this movie produced by The Gang of Eight?
"This Is the End": The world comes to an end and a group of successful young actors must prove to be unselfish enough to enter Heaven. They should have called this "Mission Impossible 5."
"Oblivion": Tom Cruise flies around a post-alien-world-destroyed Earth, apparently looking for an anniversary gift for the wife he suddenly remembers he had.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire": Most of the world is destroyed, and what's left of America delights in seeing teenagers killing each other on TV … wait, isn't that what happens on "Jersey Shore"?
Honestly, none of us has the time or the emotional strength to go through the several dozen other films released just since 2010 that deal with similar depressing and disastrous plots and themes.
(With just a few exceptions neither can the average moviegoer; most of the more recent batch of apocalyptic films have not been box office winners.)
And that's a good thing, because Hollywood's almost unanimously negative outlook on the future can only mean one thing: things are about to get A LOT better!
We've been here before, and the last time the movie business got all apocalyptic and morbid the economy and American optimism were just about to make a comeback.
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That's what happened in the 1970s when disaster movies like "Earthquake," "Airport," "The Poseidon Adventure" and even all those dystopian "Planet of the Apes" sequels dominated the cinemas.
And Hollywood was partially right in realizing that the 1970s were a true nadir for the American economy and public optimism. But the screenwriters were all wrong about the immediate future, as the 1980s and '90s brought us economic booms and a mostly more optimistic ethos from sea to shining sea.
The '70s end-of-the-world movie madness lasted about nine years, give or take a year. And it was a former actor, natch, Ronald Reagan who was the biggest reason why the nation turned its frown upside down not long after his 1981 inauguration.
But if we stay with that nine-year timeline, that means we're getting to the tail end of the new wave of very, very, sad movies that began in 2004 with "The Day After Tomorrow."
In other words, Hollywood is telling us all to buy, buy, buy ... especially before it uplifts us all with another "Superman" movie like it did in 1978.
Oh no, it's already too late!
—By CNBC's Jake Novak.