2019 is over, and all throughout the year countless movies have been released, yet a staggeringly large number of these are adaptations of books and graphic novels, remakes and reboots of classic movies, or sequels.
There have already been 12 movies set in the X-Men universe, and there is already a thirteenth movie on the way. There have been 7 Transformers movies, 11 Fast and the Furious movies, 20 Batman movies, 13 Star Trek movies, 6 Jurassic Park movies, 5 Pirates of the Caribbean, and 11 Star Wars movies, with the reception much lower almost each time a new movie is released.
Sequels aren’t always bad. The occasional sequel is perfectly fine. There are some instances where a sequel outsells its predecessor, but most people can agree we don’t need 11 Fast and the Furious films. Sometimes a story can’t be told in less than 3 hours and must be done in multiple installments, such as film franchises like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, but the film industry relies too heavily on the sequel.
Sequels aren’t the only problem either. Just this year we have seen remakes of The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Child’s Play, and Pet Sematary. All of these, received poorer reviews than the originals. Despite the poor reviews of these remakes, they continue to be pumped out year after year, with Disney being the biggest offender.
The box office list of 2019 is a long list of sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, and adaptations of stories already told in other mediums. There have hardly been any fresh ideas in the mainstream movie industry for years, and people have noticed it.
Many remakes, from Aladdin, to The Lion King, to Ghostbusters, have all received massive backlash. Even the new Star Wars movies have received backlash with each new installment and side story. You might wonder if people are so fed up with these remakes, why does the film industry keep making them? The answer is simple: people keep going to see them.
Despite the poor reception of remakes and reboots, they almost every time either outsell the original or get very close to it (taking inflation into account). Remakes and reboots have the advantage of name recognition. People often go see these remakes out of sheer curiosity, or because they have fond memories of the original, without realizing that they’re contributing to the cycle.
Remakes, reboots, and sequels are a much safer investment than a new original story. Companies in the film industry know that if they make a movie based on a recognized story with fan-favorite characters, then it will draw people into the theaters no matter if it is good or not, while if they make an original story and introduce new characters than they are running the risk of a total box office failure.
The movie industry will continue to pump out new remakes & sequels as long as people incentivize them to do so. If you’re tired of seeing nothing but remakes there is a simple solution: next time you see a remake in theaters, don’t watch it. You might be curious to see what happens, or how it compares to the original.
You might be honestly interested in what will happen once Fast and the Furious 19 comes out, but if you want more original movies to come out, and truly are tired of Hollywood being uncreative, then you have to stop letting them take your money.