The 1950s and early 60s saw a Hollywood dominated by musicals, historical epics, and other films that benefited from the larger screens, wider framing and improved sound, and as early as 1957 the era was called a "New Hollywood".[3 However, audience share continued to dwindle, and by the mid-1960s had reached alarmingly low levels. Several costly flops, includingTora, Tora, Tora, and Hello, Dolly!, and failed attempts to imitate the success of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music, put great strain on the studios.[4
By the time the baby boomer generation was coming of age in the 1960s, ‘Old Hollywood’ was rapidly losing money; the studios were unsure how to react to the much changed audience demographics. The marked change during the period was from a middle aged high school educated audience in the mid 60s, to a younger, college-educated, more affluent one; by the mid 70s, 76% of all movie-goers were under 30, and 64% had gone to college.
Characteristics of the New Hollywood films:
This new generation of Hollywood filmmaker was film school-educated,counterculture-bred, and, most importantly from the point of view of the studios, young, and therefore able to reach the youth audience they were losing. This group of young filmmakers — actors,writers and directors — dubbed the New Hollywood by the press, briefly changed the business from the producer-driven Hollywood system of the past, and injected movies with a jolt of freshness, energy, sexuality, and a passion for the artistic value of film itself.