With the school year finally ending, many people are beginning to flock to movie theaters to start catching up on the flicks they’ve been missing for the last half of a year. However, if you’re looking to find something original, this may not be the best year for you.
The most anticipated movies this year are all sequels of the same old franchises, as 2011 has broken the record of most sequels to date with 27 in its lineup. While some of the sequels may actually be fantastic, such as the final “Harry Potter” movie, others leave many asking why, like with the third “Alvin and the Chipmunks” film.
In addition, we’ll be seeing a handful of remakes, including “Footloose” and “The Thing.” The superhero sequels and reboots for “Batman,” “Superman” and “Spiderman” won’t come for another year at least, but we are seeing some new films for “Thor” and “The Green Lantern.”
The bottom line is Hollywood loves to repeat itself, because doing so is safe. Producers already know that these films are successful, so remaking them or continuing them in another installment can almost completely guarantee success in the box office. These films have already been successfully advertised once, so their names almost sell themselves. Superhero sequels and reboots will be forever popular because the public is already in love with these characters. New films don’t have that leg up.
This lack of originality can suck the life out of the movie theater. Eventually we will get sick of seeing the same old thing and will seek out something new and original, but will there be anything of quality left to see? Only a few can come to mind right away, like “Rango” back in March. It’s hard to find a great, fresh movie between the remakes, sequels and adaptations coming out this year.
The future doesn’t hold too much promise, either. Studios like Dreamworks Animation and Pixar are listing off sequels to take up the majority of their slates. Dreamworks is planning two more “Madagascar” films and four more “Kung Fu Panda” additions. “How To Train Your Dragon” will have at least two more installments, although that’s a loose prediction since it is based on an eight-piece children’s book series.
Pixar’s slate is shorter, but the sequel bug has already bitten them. This year, after seeing “Toy Story 3,” we’re getting “Cars 2,” which seems to be fully based around marketing, since kids love toy cars. Only two more films are announced after that, including the brand new “Brave,” but after “Monsters University” release in 2013 it can’t be said when we’ll see anything else new. “Newt” was already shelved sometime last year. With the beautiful films that come out of Pixar annually, it would be sad to see an end to the original stories from their studio.
Of course, truly, nothing can be completely original. Every premise to a movie can be related to something made years or decades ago. However, it’s about what fresh approach to the premise can be brought the next time around. Sequels and remakes might be exciting to see, but that doesn’t mean every film deserves one. Hopefully this will make today’s film students aspire to do something different when they make it to Hollywood.