Actors are no strangers to social media. They know better than anyone else that platforms like Twitter and Instagram allow them to build their fan base outside of the cinema. Yet, some actors have chosen to stay offline, such as Cillian Murphy, who has starred in the BBC’s Peaky Blinders since 2013. It makes sense, though: Murphy is a Golden Globe-nominated actor who often portrays darker, more serious roles, so it’s on-brand for the Irishman.
Many other serious actors seem to also avoid social media. One that comes to mind is Russell Crowe, aged 57. The New Zealand-born actor (whose net worth is around $100 million) has played many roles, but he is best known for his dramas, such as Les Misérables, American Gangster, and Gladiator, an epic historical drama blockbuster directed by British film director and producer Sir Ridley Scott. Surprisingly, the global actor has been active on social media recently. He’s been filming a new project in Malta and has been teasing and engaging with his 2.7 million Twitter followers, posting mysterious shots of set locations.
It’s a great example of social media acceptance and adoption in terms of age group and other demographics. However, it also brings up interesting questions about New Zealand’s film industry. By far, Crowe is one of the most famous faces to come from the island, and his recent activity on social media has helped shine a light on the country’s own film career, which has faced setbacks over the last few months.
The Latest From New Zealand
In August, Amazon Studios moved its flagship series for the Lord of the Rings franchise from New Zealand to the United Kingdom. It’s a blow to New Zealand, which has built a profitable entertainment industry on the franchise’s success, so it’s no surprise that Amazon’s decision has not been well received. However, there are reasons for optimism. Many other movies and shows will be filmed there, and there are other sectors in New Zealand’s entertainment industry that are performing well.
In its publishing sector, domestic revenue from NZ content increased to $52.6 million in 2020. Further, New Zealand’s gaming sector is growing, posting $324 million in annual revenue in 2020 (42% annual growth). Interestingly, other niches in New Zealand’s gaming sector are flourishing as well, including iGaming. For instance, new online casinos open in the NZ casino market every year, and with every new casino comes new incentives to attract players.
In 2021, players can get 20 no-deposit spins on sign-up to try this new casino by Rootz Limited, called Wheelz Casino. These bonuses have allowed New Zealand’s iGaming sector to maintain a steady audience over the years, and that reality is demonstrated in a couple of ways. First, review sites like Bonusfinder wouldn’t compile annual lists of new casinos if there was an influx of new establishments; secondly, the figures show this, as casino gambling expenditure in New Zealand has steadily increased over the years.
Social media is a powerful tool that many individuals use today as a business. Many high-profile figures use it to connect with their audience, as Crowe has demonstrated. However, he did more than that, as his global status and New Zealand origins brought media attention to what’s happening in the country’s film sector. Fortunately, it’s clear, even with the loss of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, that New Zealand has a flourishing all-around entertainment industry to fall back on.