In 2012, for the first time, Americans watched more movies via the Internet (through Netflix, Amazon, and Apple’s iTunes Store) than they did buying and renting physical DVDs. Apps like Angry Birds have become as profitable (on a cost-to-revenue ratio) as blockbuster franchises like The Dark Knight.
And now a group of forward-thinking stars, producers, agents, and studio executives are going digital–lest digital displace them.
Their timing couldn’t be better. Global smartphone and tablet apps were an $11.7 billion market in 2012, according to Forrester Research, a total larger than the U.S. box office. If apps follow their predicted trajectory to a $38 billion business by 2015, they will surpass global movie ticket sales, which inched up slightly in 2011 (the last reported data) to $32.6 billion. As a result, Hollywood currently seems more interested in discovering the next Instagram–which in 18 months went from launch to acquisition by Facebook for $715 million–than in finding the next Channing Tatum.
Click through a gallery of leaders above. And read about the Rebels Saving Hollywood in Fast Company’s April cover story here.