Recycling 'RoboCop' won't save movie studios
As remakes and sequels have increased, movie attendance has plummeted. It's more correlation than cause, but it doesn't mean US audiences don't want original ideas.
The first trailer for director José Padilha's remake of the 1987 cyborg-cop cult classic made the rounds on Friday, along with Padilha's assertion that his version would be super relevant because it mulls the evil use of drones -- you know, like the entire "Terminator" franchise did.
The film comes out in February, and we're all supposed to be duly impressed by the new RoboCop suit -- black is the new stainless steel! -- and its updated politics and computer-generated images.
We're also supposed to pretend that Sony (SNE) didn't pull this off the intellectual property scrap heap, send it to the fabricators for recycling and regurgitate it at us in a more bloated form -- just as we've been doing faithfully for the last decade or so.
The '90s weren't an ideologically pure moment in mass-market U.S. cinema by any means, but seven of the 10 top-grossing films of the decade -- "Home Alone," "Aladdin," "Jurassic Park," "Toy Story," "Independence Day," "Titanic" and "Saving Private Ryan" -- weren't sequels or remakes. But for the last decade, with the exception of "Avatar" in 2009, the top-grossing film each year has been a sequel or part of a franchise.
What's the difference, you ask? Between 1990 and 1999, movie attendance rose from 1.19 billion tickets sold to 1.46 billion. Since 2003, ticket sales dropped from 1.53 billion to just 1.36 billion last year. The blame for the drop in ticket sales to pre-1999 levels doesn't lie exclusively with sequels and remakes -- high-definition TV, the Internet, Blu-ray, streaming and video games are all often cited as culprits -- but they may be a symptom of that drop.
Longtime blockbuster-building directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas made ripples back in June when they suggested that Hollywood was no longer willing to take risk and was content to just throw large sums of money at sure-thing rehashes. The result, they said, would be a niche theater experience and $100 to $150 tickets.
It explains why Disney (DIS) opened the bank vault to make "The Lone Ranger" and was dealt a vicious blow when it tanked at the U.S. box office. It also explains why Warner Brothers (TWX) basically starved Legendary Pictures and director Guillermo Del Toro's giant robot and monster movie "Pacific Rim" and allowed it to be eaten alive by a "Star Trek" sequel here in the U.S.
However, the monster battle with the big $190 million budget still made more than $100 million domestically -- finishing just outside the Top 20, but ahead of "Die Hard," "Smurfs," "Red" and "Percy Jackson" sequels -- and raked in $300 million abroad. That made a sequel not only likely, but perhaps imminent.
With China already considering many U.S. sequels and remakes too dumb for its moviegoing public and U.S. audiences rewarding relatively small films, including "Spring Breakers," "Mama" and "The Purge" with big profits, moviegoers are maintaining a market for original films. It's not their fault that big studios have grown too lazy, uninspired and cynical to meet customers where they're at.
Damnit, if you're going to remake a movie, remake a bad one into a good one. Stop remaking movies that were already awesome. They don't need to be remade! They were good the first time! GO PHUCK YOURSELF, HOLLYWOOD
2. terrible economy and inflation
3.people have less disposable income
4. Theater filled with
- rude people
- cell phones
- screaming kids
- doucheb@gs covered in aqua di Gio
5. 10 dollar sodas and popcorn
Don't like going to the movies anyway. I'll wait for the movie to come to me in my own private home theatre. No morons sitting next to or behind me crunching and munching popcorn, crinkling wrappers, talking, kicking my seat, bringing in their rotten children, or babies wailing. Besides, most new movies are the same old overblown CG special effects, loud noise, fights, explosions, beautiful models kicking everyone's **** with karate/ballet, and predictable endings. If I have to take a leak, I either have to hold it or climb over everyone and miss some of the movie...or I can just put it on "pause"...
OR like the movie Oblivion that borrows from Moon, 2001, Independence day, Doomsday Machine from classic Star Trek.
Face it, everything has been done. Remakes are just easy cash cows to prop up an industry that hasn't accepted technology shift to the home theater system w/ internet connection. The industry has NO fresh ideas for stories..
Potty humor is stale, CGI explosions are boring and horror is for sickos.
The price of a movie ticket is what may limit a movies box office draw.
Somehow someone thought it wise to bring up the cost of a movie ticket to what we see it to be today..
Realistically an adult movie ticket should not be more than 5.00 dollars period.. Any extra revenue should be available by offering related movie extras such as autographed posters, toys and so on the producers should use their own imagination as to what extras they can offer in the theatre, but it shouldn’t be in higher ticket prices.. Remember dvd sales at times brings in more than the box office itself.
What has happened with the price of a movie ticket is that they have taken a page off the book of oil producers and seek out reasons to raise the prices. If a movie company wants to spend x amount of money to produce a movie, well that’s their problem. Not the consumers. Many low budget movies turn out to be much better than big budget movies. Furthermore many big time directors made their best work when they where starting out in the business and the budget money wasn’t there and they had to use their imagination.. Whatever happened with that. Haha.
When a society begins to stutter… when it begins to repeat artistic motifs from the past in lesser forms and with inferior execution… it is a sure sign of decadence and a harbinger of decline and collapse. Hollywood "re-makes" (for instance, big screen versions of bad television shows from the '70s) are indicators that we have run out of ideas as a civilization.
We will soon be on the slippery slope toward collapse unless the self-appointed arbiters of public taste and consumption… who are really nothing more than money-men trying to maximize their profits by feeding the lowest-common-denominator recycled rejecta… get out of the way and allow the new and creative to be born… instead of stillborn.
The ideas of the most creative members of our society have been ridiculed, marginalized, and co-opted by consumerism for decades. We're doomed as a culture if we can't find a way to stop it from happening.
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