Is the Entertainment Industry Tapped Out?
This year, the latest installment of the Star Trek franchise aired on CBS.
It immediately stirred controversy due to the revamped appearance of the popular alien race known as Klingons. Not only had the physical appearance of the Klingons changed, but also some of their cultural aspects. In addition, to many longtime fans, the tone of the series had drastically changed from exploration to a more action-focused, less intellectual tone. One wonders, if the writers wished to make so many changes, why even call it Star Trek? J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movies have faced similar criticism. Many fans say that the movies lack the spirit of what made the franchise so great.
This is not the only revamped remake of an old franchise to come out of the entertainment industry. The Transformers movies, of which there are currently six, were based upon a franchise that originated with a cartoon in the 1980’s. Superhero films are based on characters that have been around for decades, some of them showing visible signs of age. Captain America and Superman don’t particularly fit the current zeitgeist.
The pop culture website Den of Geek lists 124 movies which Hollywood intends to reboot or remake. There are also sequels to famous movies like Star Wars. Marketwatch.com has accused Hollywood of running out of ’80’s movies to reboot. Is it just our collective imagination or is Hollywood making an unusual amount of reboots?
Looking at a list of top grossing Hollywood movies of 2017, I noticed that seven out of ten of the top grossing movies have been either remakes, sequels, or made with decades old characters.
Is Hollywood running out of ideas and what does this tell us about our cultural landscape?
Additionally, these are the highest grossing movies. People are going to see these films and they are doing very well. What does that say about us? That we shun the new for the comfort of the familiar? Of course, if one looks at the original movies, one sees the explanation immediately. The Emoji Movie doesn’t exactly sound like it’d appeal to many people.
In addition, many of the less popular movies were remakes or sequels such as Power Rangers, the Mummy, and Alien: Covenant. So, it isn’t simply a case of what the audience wants. Hollywood really is making more reboots and sequels. The question is why?
Could it be as simple as laziness? It’s easier to create something that’s already been done. It could be a business decision. Does all of this imply that since the Silent and Golden era of movies, Hollywood and television networks quit making their product for the sheer joy of it.
Does money really don the eternal emblem of realization in Hollywood?