Hollywood’s bread and butter are franchises and the majority of those are reboots of 80’s movies such as Carrie, Red Dawn, Evil Dead and Robocop. Along with reboots there are also revivals, franchises that Hollywood doesn’t want to let go of. This year alone we have news of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Transformers, Sin City, and 300. Now this isn’t a bad thing, I would love to see another Jurassic Park or Star Wars and the recent Evil Dead and Judge Dredd remakes were great.
But, is Hollywood investing too much into remakes? This weekend alone there are three, I only knew that Robocop was a remake but About Last Night and Endless Love are also from the 80’s. Now I get they were both slotted for the Valentine Holiday and did well with About Last Night finishing second behind The Lego Movie and Endless Love finishing fourth. Robocop ended the weekend in third place, which means that all three reboots did well their first weekend out. But was that because of the holiday or on their own merit as good movies?
Like I said two of the three remakes that came out this weekend I never heard of before. I’m guessing there are quite a few people out there that haven’t heard of them either which worked in the movies’ favor. According to Rotten Tomatoes About Last Night got a 77% but Endless Love only gained a 14%. Which begs the question, what really got it fourth place in the Box Office? I would say the Valentine weekend is what got it there and not how good it was.
So, what about when well-known movies are remade? Some are done well like the Evil Dead, Friday the 13th and Robocop. But the majority of the time we are left disappointed and enraged they even dared to remake it to begin with. Dawn of the Dead, Day the Earth stood still, Nightmare on Elm Street and so many others, they all disappoint, some more than others. Wouldn’t moviegoers want to see more original movies like Pacific Rim, Now you see me, American Hustle, and The World’s End? I’m not saying we are flooded with remakes but how many original screenplays are shelved to finance a movie executives know made them a profit in the past.
How well thought out are these movies? Did anyone read the script to the Nightmare on Elm Street remake and not see it was far from living up to the original? There has been a lot of talk recently about a remake of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. Does anyone want to see a remake of it with Jason Statham or Tom Hardy as Snake Plissken? How about the talk about remaking Revenge of the Nerds? Now days, Nerds are the cool kids, that was part of the premise for the 21 Jump Street big screen remake, kids today wouldn’t be able to relate. I think Hollywood relies a little too much on remakes, the occasional few are fine as long as they are done well and not just thrown out there to rely on their title.
Along with remakes, Hollywood is also rather invested in franchise revivals like The Bourne series. The Bourne Legacy didn’t even gross enough domestically to break even with its budget. But yet, a sequel to “Legacy” is already slated to release next year with Jeremy Renner returning as Aaron Cross. I’m guessing continuing this franchise is based on its performance overseas, where it faired better, especially in the Philippines. In my opinion Jeremy Renner did a great job but the Bourne Legacy was a far second to any of the original Bourne movies.
Along with the Bourne series, Zack Snyder’s 300 is getting a long overdue sequel in 300: Rise of an Empire, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is also getting sequel this year. Both of these franchises made a name for themselves for their stylized look and sequels would’ve done great a year or two after the originals but I’m not so sure now. They are going to have to up their game to impress audiences like they did in the past.
One hit wonders are not the only ones trying to reclaim the spotlight. Blockbuster franchises like Star Wars and Transformers are preparing to hit the screen over the next few years. Transformers: Age of Extinction will crash into theaters this summer and Star Wars will show up in 2015. Another blockbuster trying to recapture audiences is Jurassic Park with Jurassic World coming out in the summer of 2015. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; hopefully all three of the franchises can redeem themselves from each of their last movies. We would all like to forget Jurassic Park 3 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, while Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith wasn’t absolutely horrible but no one was happy with it. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed they wont let us down with their next try.
Many Hollywood studios have bought properties from new sources like Japanese Anime and Manga such as Gundam and Akira but they still aren’t brave enough to move forward with them. Maybe newcomers to the industry will be and that’s what is really needed. Like I said earlier, I am looking forward to seeing alien robots, dinosaurs and Jedi back on the big screen. I’m not totally against remakes either as long as they are strong enough to stand on their own merits. I hope we get to see more original movies get a shot at the spotlight. Not only for moviegoers sake but so new blood can get into the film industry before the alumni are all too old to keep things fresh and interesting.