But moviegoers turned up their noses. Weekly film attendance in 1967, the first year after Hollywood dumped the production code, plummeted to 17.8 million, from 38 million the year before (television had already eroded moviegoing from its late-1940s peak of 90 million a week).
Hate to spoil an otherwise good article, but it was the "anti-establishment" films of the 70s, followed by the "blockbuster" films of the late 70s (Jaws, Star Wars) that kept the studios from going bankrupt. The reason the studios were near bankruptcy in 1967 and 1968 was due to the fact that younger audiences had NO DESIRE to see crap like "Hello Dolly," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," or "Paint Your Wagon." The "anti-establishment" crowd came along during the next decade, although "Easy Rider" (directed by Dennis Hopper) was the earliest example of an "anti-establishment" cinematic commercial success.
His case agains anti-establisment films of the past was pretty weak, I agree.
I don't know that you'd call Patton, True Grit, Dirty Harry, the French Connection and the Exorcist "anti-establishment" unless you are marking the very good case that the establishment was the left. Granted there was gore and bad words in those movies, but all espoused conservative values.
And actually, the top grossers in 1970-- Love Story and Airport -- were rather uncontroversial.