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It seems like Hollywood isn't putting out many original ideas anymore. I'm not saying they were full of original ideas before, but they seem to have fewer and fewer each year. The last three times I have been to the movies, all the trailers before the film were for remakes, prequels or sequels. On top of those, there is the glut of films based on content from other formats, whether it's a comic book or a . Don't get me wrong, I love a good comic book movie, but I also like when a writer comes up with new characters and has them act out an . I recently saw the Irish film The Guard and I believe it is the best movie of the year, so far. To boot, it wasn't based on a , a , or a . But most people won't see it, or didn't know it was released, because it was a small independent film that only received a limited run and minimal marketing. On the other hand, everyone had the opportunity to see Transformers:Dark of the Moon in or , and had to see endless amounts of advertising for it. In fact, $352 million worth of people went to see it. I'm sure plenty of people went more than once. But why is a movie based on a line of toys from thirty years ago the number 2 film at the box office this year? Let's try to figure it out.
Hollywood is afraid of you.
They're afraid that you won't like them, or more specifically, the movies they release. In the past, Hollywood studios were filled with people that were interested in film as an art form. Today, it is filled with the same kind of people that are at most major companies, across all industries, the MBA graduate. These MBAers have studied business at the graduate school level, but not necessarily a specific type of business. I understand that there are that are generally applicable across all industries, but some industries require more than just an understanding of best practices and managerial skills. Hollywood is supposed to be about creativity and art, along with millions of dollars in profits and expenditures. I also understand that many of the previous studio heads were very shrewd business men, and that many were downright ruthless. But they also had some respect for what they were doing. The current heads of Hollywood are far too worried about focus groups, and appealing to the largest audience, that they have forgotten how to truly reach a large audience. Sure they might make $400 million from their biggest movie of the year, but in most cases the movie won't be a game changer. It will not have made an impact on the movie industry or the art of filmmaking. You can bet that it had some wicked cool explosions though. Hollywood needs some more people that are in love with movies, that really geek out about new techniques and ideas. Hollywood needs visionaries that are willing to take a .
So back to the original ideas. If you look at the top grossing movies of 2011, only one of the top ten is an original idea, . If you open it up to the top 25 films, you have eight original works, three of which are . The rest of the films are either based on books, comics or . If they aren't, they are a sequel, or . Looking back twenty or thirty years, there are some sequels and adaptations in the top twenty, but it is not nearly as prevalent. If you look at AFI's Top 100 movies of the past 100 years, the top ten is half original, and half adaptations. Even one of the greatest all time films, “The Godfather”, is an adaptation of a novel, so adaptations aren't inherently bad. I just would like to see fewer of them as the major releases of the year.
This year has been an especially bad year for remakes and prequels. I would like to go through some examples to
. First off are the remakes of Footloose and Fright Night. It is somewhat understandable when they remake movies from a long time ago, especially when the advances in technology would add more to the film. But both of these movies are less than thirty years old and have nothing to gain from new . Then there is the announcement of other upcoming remakes of films from the ; , The Evil Dead, Hellraiser, and The Warriors. These are on top of all the '80s film remakes in the past few years like , Conan the Barbarian, and . Then there is the idiotic idea of doing a prequel to . If you haven't seen then I'll let you know that it is about an alien discovery in Antarctica. At the opening of the film a couple of crazy Norwegians in a helicopter are chasing down a dog and trying to . The dog runs to a US science station and is saved by the friendly American scientists that are working there. The Norwegians accidentally blow themselves up, then the dog turns out to be an alien being that wants to take over the world. The prequel is about the Norwegians. But they've added some to it, even though the two Norwegians in the first film didn't speak any English. The setting of both movies is a science station in Antarctica, the premise is that the inhabitants are up against an alien, and there are roughly the same amount of characters. What are we going to get from ? When will Hollywood start making more movies that are from original ideas? What will the next remake be? I'm hoping it is Howard the Duck. That movie could do with an update.
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