The Morse Code

Do movie remakes and sequels do more harm than good?

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    In this modern age of movies, it is more common to see a remake in theaters rather than an original concept. Almost everything is based on existing material, whether it be comics, books, tv shows, or older movies. The lack of effort and hunt for money from studios has changed the way the film industry chooses which movies to make and which to stay away from.

    The number one reason why remakes and sequels are made is money. The studios use ideas that are based on preexisting material in order to lure audiences into theater seats. They are taking beloved films like Jumanji or Ghostbusters and changing one aspect of the film and rebrand it in order to make cash off the well known ideas. They want to guarantee that their movie will make a profit. Shareholders and executives want to invest and advertise a film that will make them money; therefore, they take fewer risks will original content.

     “If no one was buying tickets to see this endless stream of reboots, sequels and spinoffs, they wouldn’t be made,”Mark Carpowich from the Huffington Post states. Although many movie lovers and even the casual moviegoers complain about what seems like an endless cycle of remade and rebooted material, they still head to theaters to watch them. A great example of a studio taking advantage of a loved story is Spiderman. The comic book character has two reboots to date on top of the original three films. If people want to see newer ideas and stories in film, they will have to stop supporting the studio’s attempts of cashing in on a well-known brand.

    Unfortunately if American audiences cease supporting the remakes and sequels, it still might not be enough for studios to end the production line of these films. North America is only a third of the global market for the movie industry. Studios are now looking more at the international box office numbers to determine if it is worth making a remake, sequel, or reboot.

    “We’re playing a global box office game now, and North America alone isn’t the say-all, end-all in the total global picture of box office sales,” mentioned Daniel Loria, editorial director of Boxoffice Media, in a Washington Post article. “Many times what will decide if a sequel happens if a film flops in North America is how strong it does overseas.” In some instances, the original film was not shown in the foreign countries therefore the sequels or remakes make a huge box office profit for the studios, such as Independence Day not being shown in Russia and China, but recently showed Independence Day: Resurgence. In turn, this encourages studios to produce more movies to profit off the international audiences rather than domestic.

    These movies can harm the film industry further than just being a money grab for studios, but it can also limit creative concepts and possibly ruin the original work.

    “Studios walk a fine line between enticing viewers with something they haven’t seen before and ruining the nostalgia that keeps certain film franchises alive,” said Jacob Bogage from the Washington Post. Some recent examples of the newer movies spoiling the love for the original material is Jurassic World and the 2011 version of Footloose.

    Occasionally, remakes, sequels, or reboots are successful and service justice to the original material. When these movies work, they bring new obstacles and elements that adds and builds upon the original content. In some cases, they simplify the extra elements of the film, like with Mad Max: Fury Road or it just draws inspiration from the original film, like with 1982’s The Thing.

    Funny enough, even Hollywood knows that the words remake have a bad connotation among viewers. The word is taboo. At the end of the day, studios need to spare moviegoers of the countless remakes, reboots, and sequels that fill up the movie theater screens. They need to rethink their process of choosing which movies to make, choose more creative and risky options that will become new fan favorites. People also need to change their movie habits as well. They have to stop giving their money to pointless recycled material and invest their time in original movies.

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