Reboots, Remakes and Sequels? Should We Be Grateful or Careful?
There’s a lot to consider when discussing remakes and reboots. Having been born in the 90’s, I am smack dab in the middle of ‘remake mania’ and to be honest, I'm not completely mad at it. Friends of mine constantly make comments such as “they should just leave it alone”, “another one??”, “it won’t be as good as the first!”, in this blog I’m going to dive into why it is happening, who it affects and what the future holds for our favorite and treasured films.
In with the new out with the old!
Without sounding like The Lord Of The Rings’ wise wizard Gandolf, this is a new age and we need to be prepared for new terrifying beginnings. Similar to music, film is going through that weird transition period where not much is original anymore, however what we are getting is updated versions of the old. Disney is already into their 20+ year, multi-movie classic remake plan, with new versions of The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Aladdin and so much more having already brought in over 5 Billion dollars in growing revenue - this is expected to double in another 10 years. It's clear that Disney have used the remake system to not only aesthetically modernize but to also to establish new idols, role models and cultures within the films. Nearly every remake features character and story changes within race, gender and previously conflicting plot moments. This is key, with modern hits such as Encanto, Moana, Raya and The Last Dragon and Coco all have diverse leads/support characters, this only drives the point that representation matters and there previously was not enough of it
Over the past 20 years, remakes and reboots have made more than 5billion in cinema revenue.But does it beat the original numbers when considering inflation? InMyArea.com’s editor and industry analyst Chioma Azeh makes the point that, yes revenue is higher yet so is the cost of making the films due to inflation, streaming services, studio competition and higher salaries across talent and production. Here are some of the key findings Azeh found within her research:
Seventeen of 27 (63 percent) remakes were more expensive to make, adjusting for inflation, averaging a $79 million higher price tag. Of the movies with higher production costs, 10 of 17 produced less revenue, again adjusting for inflation.
21 of 27 remakes had lower audience scores, averaging 26 points worse.
22 of 27 remakes had lower critics scores, averaging 33 points worse.
The biggest duds were Poltergeist and Hellboy.
A few bright spots were The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon.
Only 10 of 27 (37 percent) remakes were more profitable than their original counterpart. On average, remakes produce $146.3 million in profit.
*Please find full report HERE*
While reboots and remakes garners mixed reviews with older fans, younger viewers are enjoying a fresh new take even if it is only a few changes and it shows in numbers.
Fast & Furious 18 - why do we keep making these?
Let's be real, we all love a good sequel whether we like to admit it or not. Are they always good? No, but that's not the important question, what we should be asking is are they necessary? It seems like everything is getting a sequel these days. Originally films based around books, existing franchises or games would get a second or third movie greenlit. 90% of the time films are judged on numbers not critics, take the Transformers franchise as an example, while each of the 5 films gross over $500 million with 2 grossing over a billion everything seems peachy. Nevertheless, after the 1st Michael Bay release which got a 7.0 rating on IMDB, the rest failed to match or exceed that score.
As consumers we are all hypocrites, we constantly complain about films overdoing it with sequels nevertheless, we are also the first ones at the cinema to pay for it, view it and rewatch over the years once on streaming sites no matter how bad the film is. Personally, I like a sequel when I feel like there is more to the story then what has been told so far. A good sequel stems from how the story and characters progress within the first film, an example being, ‘Taken’ starring Liam Nelson was a perfect movie for its genre, suspense, action and a good cast. The simple premise was executed smoothly, then it was given 2 sequels which only raised plot holes, questions of recasting and the relativity of the storyline. Let's take Keanu Reeves in the John Wick franchise, each movie ended on a brilliant cliffhanger after complex, action packed story-lines. It was so well done that if each movie was a stand alone I believe it would have still been perfect.
With the next few years bringing us reboots, remakes and sequels for movies such as Top Gun, Indiana Jones, Avatar, Mission Impossible and Fast and Furious. I am both nervous and excited, but will always keep an open mind - I love films, so I repeat I will always give everything a try. I don’t believe sequels, reboots and remakes are as damaged as people make it out to be however I have learnt that not everything is made for myself, my generation or even culture.