Hollywood studios seem to be looking back into there own history for inspiration as it now seems like almost every movie these days is a remake of a film from the past or a recycled version of a story line told once too many times. There’s also the tried and true way of making a film based off a best selling novel or book series. Some of these ideas work(Harry Potter, Karate Kid) and some don’t(Stepford Wives & The Wicker Man).
Just in 2011 we have coming or have had remakes of The Smurfs, Conan the Barbarian, Fright Nights and Footloose.
What is Hollywood’s attraction to remakes or reboots of an old film/franchise? Some remakes are remade simply because the studios can and some are riding on the coattails of another’s success or buzz from an actor in the original film(All the Dirty Dancing buzz started after Jennifer Grey was on DWTS). As films such as The Karate Kid, Footloose and Dirty Dancing grace our screens for a second time, its becoming clear that Hollywood currently has a fascination with the 80’s. There are currently almost 30 remakes on studio’s desks including Red Dawn, Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters(seriously?). While this familiar material is like candy to studio executives who are looking to cash in on a decade that is hitting all the right strides with audiences it seems like all the MTV inspired 80’s stuff is cool again.
“Younger audiences haven’t seen the originals and older viewers might just be curious enough to buy a ticket to see what the updated version looks like”
Is there a spark of originality in remakes? No but that’s Hollywoods point. Releasing familiar titles means that studios and producers can count on audiences knowing what a Ghostbusters or Karate Kid film is all about. Remakes have a built in fan base which in a time where marketing and advertising a film to moviegoers costs almost as much as the film itself. At a time where the rest of the USA and the world are in economic troubles, Hollywood is looking for that safe bet. An original screenplay can be risky but a sequel,remake or reboot usually means $$$ in the bank.
The economy is driving Hollywood’s trends as studios are feeling the heat from the bad economy and studios are so afraid of failure and wasting money that they don’t dare venture into waters of the unknown. Hollywood goes to stories that has already been successful with the public and make them a second even third time.
Redo’s of films may not always go has studios hope, but don’t expect the remakes and reboots to go away anytime soon.