Another Summer of Sequels

 

The famous Hollywood Sign

The past few years Hollywood has repeatedly given us the “Summer of the Sequels.” With the success of reboot and sequel movies like The Amazing Spiderman, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises, it’s really not a surprise they’ve done so. Taking into account how much movies cost to make, and what audiences are paying to see it’s hard to level criticism at the movie studios for the lack of original content over the last few years.

Sequels, though anticipated and generally well regarded, aren’t all that audiences want though. There are many public critics who are attacking Hollywood studios over the lack of original content in comparison with the number or remakes, reboots and sequels being released. I personally agree it would be great to see new franchises, but Hollywood’s big fear is that when new franchises and movies come out, will they be supported? And as a public are we doing anything to allay that fear?

There are certainly other factors involved, but it is hard to disregard the public’s desire for sequels as one of the many reasons that so many sequels come out. While it is also the responsibility of the studios to provide entertaining movies, that is if they want to get people in movies seats, and if the sequels, reboots, etc., that movie studios are providing that entertainment, can we really complain about it? Not to mention is the sudden rise of sequels really a new trend?

Remakes, Reboots, and Sequels All Over Again

While it may seem like we’re receiving a deluge of remakes and sequels, it’s really nothing new. Movies like Beau Geste have been remade multiple times, and the first known remake ever (The Great Train Robbery) came out in 1904! Not only are they nothing new, it’s been a regular pattern from the beginning.

So what do we expect of the major studios when demand is higher than ever for remakes, reboots or sequels? I’m not saying that Hollywood should eternally dig through the vaults when it comes to ideas for films, but it’s certainly hard to condemn them for providing what a large portion of the public wants. Besides, are there really that many people complaining that The Avengers wasn’t awesome, or that the newest Batman film wasn’t an excellent conclusion to the series? It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me.

Would We Really Want Them to Go Away?

It certainly raises the question of whether less sequels, reboots, remakes, etc., are really the way to go. A good example is the James Bond franchise, in some of these films we saw ridiculous villains, weapons and hideouts, but as the series moved forward they also became more realistic. Instead of a super villain hiding in a bunkered fortress full of world ending super-weapons, we’ve seen regular criminals, with regular guns, who are more likely to keep their weapons in a gun safe than a walk-in titanium vault. To me that’s far more entertaining than seeing James Bond float around a space station shooting flowers with a poorly conceived laser

In the end a sequel or remake can bring a lot to the table, whether we like to admit that or not, and while it’s obvious that new content would also be welcome, it’s hard to complain at the quality of what we’re getting.

-Ryan Huff

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