Is Hollywood Running out of Ideas?

The Mummy (2017) - IMDb

credit: The Mummy

The obvious answer would be ‘of course Hollywood isn’t out of ideas’, since no one wants to admit that the writers in good old Tinseltown are spending more time twiddling their thumbs as they’re directed to create remakes and reboots rather than push new ideas that might not do well at the box office. In other words, money is being placed ahead of integrity, and sadly, it’s not that surprising since money makes the engine that is Hollywood run. What’s so unfortunate about this is that at some point, the same old tired story that continues to be told gets repackaged and redistributed with only a few tweaks and changes that many tend to think are revolutionary and innovative. There are movies out there that have managed to wow the audience with a story that is new and innovative, but too often, it’s been seen that people are far more comfortable with the pre-packaged material that doesn’t challenge the way they look at the world, or at the story that’s already been established. This often allows filmmakers to keep adding various elements to a story that don’t make sense and that eschew the realism that might have, at one time, existed in an original story that’s become a franchise. 

Scream (2022) - Plugged In

credit: Scream

Hollywood is currently in the cycle of recycle and reuse that doesn’t show any sign of ending. 

If a movie can be given a sequel, a remake, or a reboot, it’s bound to happen for a number of reasons. One is that it feels like a guaranteed payday since people know the story, they want to see it move forward, and they’re almost always willing to accept whatever is thrust into the story, no matter how ridiculous it might be. Watching a large number of movies, it’s very evident that people are bound to take just about anything a movie can provide and find a reason why it should be a part of a movie that should have never evolved in the manner that it did. For instance, thinking that a bunch of street racers could become an elite team that would be relied on by the US government, even in an unofficial capacity, is a huge stretch. Unfortunately, this is what people want to see, and from a fictional standpoint, it’s tough to argue against the thrill of it. 

If there’s anything that gets people to pay attention to a movie, it’s a spectacle. 

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I do agree with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola when it comes to stating that comic book movies and other features that are akin to said movies are not always able to be counted as cinematic achievements. As spectacular and fantastic thrill rides, they’re great since they end up taking the fans on a trip that allows them to stop thinking critically for a couple of hours. The spectacle that many of these movies create is fun, it’s engaging, and it plays to the love of fantasy and action that many people enjoy. But after one or two movies, it becomes a little too obvious that things are going to stay more or less the same while the changes are going to be used as additions that may or may not fit. The thing is, people, don’t care, so long as the additions don’t deviate too much from the comfort zone that’s been established. 

Fast and Furious Franchise Explained

credit: Fast and Furious

The denial that Hollywood is running out of ideas is cute, really. 

It’s very easy to hide behind one excuse or one line of reasoning or another when one has the money and the PR to make it appear that things aren’t that bad. They’re simply banking on the fact that sequels and remakes are going to make the most money because the content is proven. But if one thinks that’s the case, then one might need to take note that the franchises, successful as they are, still have the appearance of winding down at this time. The denial of this, meaning the box office numbers and the positive reviews, can still be pushed aside in favor of finding the truth, that people are starting to get tired of the same old thing and want to see something new and dynamic. 

Investing in new stories might mean a loss of revenue, but it’s a way to move forward. 

The job of Hollywood, one of its jobs anyway, is to push new material and new stories and to advance cinema in a way that will continue to push the boundaries rather than settle within them. It might mean a loss of revenue, and it may very well lead to a low box office return, but the long-term return would no doubt be worth the trouble. That’s the theory. At least, now, all that needs to happen is for Hollywood to wake up and realize what is needed to move forward instead of spinning its wheels. 

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