By Kevin Sninsky
Since the birth of cinema, the entertainment industry has been a refuge for viewers world-wide. It is allowed an incredible opportunity – an invitation to escape their average, everyday lives and dive into new worlds. Some are wonderful, others terrifying, but each journey is more exciting than the last.
The entertainment industry is constantly growing and, with thousands of new titles being released every year, an unfortunate pattern has also continued to grow along with it.
For the past few years, it seems as if moviegoers have been coaxed into a never-ending state of déjà-vu. The posters and promotions are new and flashy. The faces gracing the screen are no longer the same. But behind all the FX and editing, the entertainment industry has fallen into a pattern familiar to many environmentally conscious individuals: “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.”
Film studios have been stuck in an era of reboots, revivals and sequels for years now. Instead of creating new and original content, many products being developed are remakes of beloved classics (“Jumanji,” “Flatliners”, Disney remakes) or continuations of a popular franchise that had seemingly ended years ago (“Star Wars,” “Jurassic World.”)
According to AMC’s Filmsite, only three of the 40 top grossing films between 2000 and 2017 have been wholly original stories.
What is the issue? Are the creative writers of the film industry simply out of ideas? Are there no more stories left to tell? Well, no. Original scripts have no trouble turning a profit in some cases. Movies such as “Finding Nemo” and “Inception” have come close to the billion-dollar mark. James Cameron’s “Avatar,” an original script itself, holds the title of ‘Top Grossing Film of All Time’ according to The Huffington Post.
A big issue here revolves around money. While there are surely many fresh pitches floating around studios, there may be few that those financially backing the projects see as profitable enough to chase. Movie-making is not a cheap endeavor. Why take a gamble on an unknown property when you can make Shrek 5 and rake in an easy few hundred million?
The same pattern can be seen in television today. It has become more and more popular to bring back shows and their casts that were once TV titans. This past year, audiences were welcomed back into the Tanner’s San Francisco residency with “Fuller House.” Soon they will be sitting back down for dinner with the cast of “Roseanne.” Nostalgia is a market that pays today.
This system of recycling may seem lazy on the surface, but it certainly can serve a purpose if it is done correctly. Hollywood’s fondness of reboots allows classics to be rediscovered by new generations and in ways that are more relatable to current audiences. Revivals of old shows like “Roseanne” can explore the issues of today. Audiences can watch how a family that grew up alongside are dealing with the same modern challenges.
Sure, I would love to see some more originality on the screen come Friday night, but I will be just as happy with a “Bee Movie 2” if it is a story that serves a purpose other than making a profit.