By the time 1983 rolled around, the exciting, innovative stretch of auteur-driven filmmaking was firmly over. We were now in the age where Hollywood shifted its primary focus to capture the attention of younger audiences. You had science-fiction, fantasy, and action-adventure films that were once thought to be the fodder for B-movies elevated to the mainstream and dominating the marketplace. Along with this, you had the rise of franchise filmmaking, with “Star Wars” being the poster child for both. The 1980s, in many ways, were the precursor to today’s Hollywood, and the major difference on how people perceive the two is that the ’80s get a nostalgic bump.
While we know this to be the prevalent mainstream cinematic output of the era, this could be perceived as just a phase at the time. Hollywood was only a couple of years into its post-New Hollywood era, and plenty of people had reason to believe that this youth and genre focused bubble would eventually pop. With “Terms of Endearment” making over $100 million in 1983, some saw that as a sign that maybe the adult drama wasn’t dead. One of those people was Jack Nicholson, who was one of the staples of the New Hollywood. Now, he didn’t think that film could bring about a New Hollywood 2.0. “Terms of Endearment” isn’t that kind of transgressive, boundary pushing movie. Instead, Nicholson thought it could have been the beginning of a resurgence of a different era of Hollywood history.