The numbers are officially in for Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny, and it isn’t looking good. It’s actually quite surprising since there was much chatter and buzz surrounding the film prior to its Cannes debut. Then, once audiences saw the lukewarm feedback, the excitement was mostly lost.
Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny is fresh off what most fans deem the worst film in the franchise —Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Still, that film made an astounding $790 million worldwide, the highest-grossing entry of the series. However, Indiana Jones isn’t the only blockbuster that’s been quite lackluster at the box office. Transformers, Fast X, and The Flash haven’t done so well either. All Indiana Jones did was exemplify the issues that most blockbusters have in the current era of filmmaking.
Everything Feels The Same
The summer of 2023 has been front-loaded with blockbusters. It doesn’t help that the year also started out with this type of film as well. Blockbusters are typically the same. Sure, you can point out the differences between Fast X and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. But it’s the formula and format that keeps it in the same ballpark.
Just like the purpose of a horror film is to scare or comedies are for laughs, blockbusters go after a certain demographic that it’s meant to entertain. This model is widely used for most superhero films because the purpose is to drive as many butts into seats as possible. Blockbuster films are huge event spectacles that demand to be seen on the big screen.
However, the success of the Marvel universe and superhero films, in general, have effectively held back other types of films from being greenlit by studio executives. Releasing so many blockbuster films at once eliminates variety. Add to the fact that the cost of theaters has drastically gone up, and audiences don’t particularly have the money or time to watch the same type of film on a weekly basis.
A Diversity Of Films Is Necessary To Make Blockbusters Feel Special Again
There needs to be more diversity of films to flood theaters. This will make blockbusters seem more special and must-see. The problem isn’t particularly the film themselves. But blockbusters movies are everywhere now. This includes the small screen, especially after Netflix introduced blockbuster-type films available in the comfort of everyone’s home.
Whether it’s drama, sci-fi, horror, or rom-com, blockbusters shouldn’t be released every single month. The theater system needs a healthy balance of films that focuses on different types of moviegoers, not just one. These action spectacles have lost their luster and charm because of their predictable nature. Indiana Jones, Fast X, and Transformers are franchise films. So the format of each of these features has been well documented at this point.
Modern Blockbusters Feel Like Cash Cows
New and fresh material is sorely lacking in this space. The constant remakes, sequels, and spin-offs have been Hollywood’s bread and butter for a good period of time. When Jaws was first released in 1975, it was exciting and gripping because it was something new and unpredictable. It presented a new storytelling method that audiences weren’t used to. That’s a large part of why it’s still relevant in popular culture today.
That’s a huge missing component in today’s market. The last blockbuster to truly present something fresh and new is Avatar, and that was over a decade ago. It’s never a guarantee that a new film will do well at the box office. So, it’s understandable why studios are hesitant to take big risks on original content.
However, audiences are clearly getting tired of recycled content as well. Simply put, Hollywood needs to put their stock back into original films. Is there a reason we need the 100th Terminator film? Why not use that money to produce something different that could catch fire at the box office? The only way for blockbusters to remain a hot commodity is if executives give audiences new content that demands to be seen.