Reboots and sequels: Is Hollywood in a creative crisis?

THERE is no point denying at the moment that, more often than not, what is coming to cinemas for release is either a reboot of an older film or a sequel. This latest summer has seen How to Train your Dragon 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, all proven box office successes both during this summer and in the past. From first glance, it would be fairly safe to assume that the studios bankrolling these films are clearly in it for the money grab in the form of millions of dollars’ worth of profit. However, this may not in fact be the case.

RebootCOUWhen looking at reboots from earlier in the year, some have not been proven as successful. Robocop, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit were all released in February-March this year and all proceeded to bomb considerably in terms of expected revenue generated. However, it is to be slightly expected considering box office profit trends of this time of the year. Looking at a different period, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opened at the end of August to an equally poor box office reception showing that reboots can equally be as unsuccessful. Yet despite this, more keep coming.

That being said, I believe it is the biggest game changer on the movie scene that has caused this massive change in approach; namely the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Disney bought Marvel Entertainment back in 2009 there has been a widely recognised increase in popularity for these series of films, with both films they released this year topping box office total charts at 1 and 2 positions.

Naturally other studios are trying to do the same in creating their own large money generating franchises, wanting to keep up. Warner Brothers has ordered a trilogy of Harry Potter spin offs starting with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Sony has gone a similar route as Marvel with their own Marvel property Spider-Man creating a completely new interconnected series of films on their own. It seems not that there is no creativity in Hollywood, as reboots such as Godzilla can have their own spin on a widely recognised character, but rather that potential new franchises are being ignored for the sake of what studios see as something that will appeal to the public as recognisable, guaranteeing a constant income.

The amount of reboots and sequels in the future has me dubious. Plans for a Stargate trilogy of films despite its successful TV run of 17 seasons across 3 shows seems unnecessary. A new Battlestar Galactica film after the TV reimagining has been run into the ground also makes me question the need for something else from this universe. And finally the Hobbit trilogy has already proven that there is far too little actual story to justify three full movies. But there are some glimmers of hope such as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Only time will tell as to whether something new can capture our imaginations.