Reboot vs original film: is Hollywood starved for ideas?

KOJO ESSAH

It is no secret that popular movies get sequels as a way of extending that particular series. This is done to please fans, as well as to gain revenue. Reboots are the re-imagining of once-popular franchises for a current generation, and are also a profitable and popular category for films. Fans and screenwriters, however, are starting to notice that Hollywood is churning out reboots and sequels on a regular basis, but hardly any new ideas are surfacing.

American Ultra is an action-comedy film starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. It was directed by Nima Nourizadeh and written by Max Landis. The film was released on 21 August 2015, and made $5.4 million in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $15.4 million. Landis took to Twitter after the film’s release to blame the film’s low revenue in its opening weekend on how impossible it is nowadays for an “original” film to find a large audience. His movie received mixed to average reviews. The critically panned adaptation of the popular Hitman video game series and reboot of the film series, Hitman: Agent 47, earned $8.2 million, and went on to gross $81.7 million. Although this amount was less than the movie’s projected openings, it still earned more than a movie that received better reviews. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the fifth instalment of the Mission Impossible series, and it, like the other movies in the series, received high ratings from critics. The movie made $12.5 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross $679.7 million.
Using these examples of sequels against an original film, it is clear to see that moviegoers of the current generation prefer to watch something familiar to them, the reason for this being that they know what they’re in for. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious that original films are less popular than established franchises in the industry today. 

 

Illustration: Jackie Zhang

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