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  • Jennifer Green

How Two Decades of Film Remakes Have Impacted Creativity in Cinema (SUCCESS)

Take a look at the Top 100 grossing films of all time around the world, and you’ll find that almost every title is part of a franchise or inspired by comics. From Avengers to Jurassic World to Harry Potter to an array of superheroes, the trend is clear: Hollywood studios find success in adapting and repeating existing material.

This landscape is not entirely new. “Since the first days of the film industry, there have been remakes, there have been sequels, there has been taking an idea and making a movie about it,” says Amanda Ann Klein, professor of film studies at East Carolina University and co-editor of the 2016 book Cycles, Sequels, Spin-offs, Remakes, and Reboots: Multiplicities in Film & Television.

But commentators do point to a blockbuster-oriented “franchise era” that’s taken hold in Hollywood in the past couple of decades.

“There’s certainly been a shift—and Disney, of course, has really led this, with the triumvirate of [Lucasfilm], Pixar and Marvel,” says Alisa Perren, associate professor and co-director of the Center for Entertainment and Media Industries at the University of Texas at Austin.

Alex Stevens, host of the weekly SUCCESS Movie Rewind podcast, points to Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man as a starting point.

As average budgets for films have exploded and Hollywood has become increasingly reliant on the international market and—especially post-pandemic—streaming subscribers, studios have attempted to lower their risks as much as possible. The easiest way to do that? Go with a known quantity.

Enter the remake—and the prequel, sequel, spinoff and reboot.

Hollywood reboots are hotly contested among fans and critics. Are they cross-generational, multimedia phenomena that live on because they’re just that good and fans are already so deeply connected to them? Or do they represent the death of creativity, a sign that there are simply no new ideas? Or is the answer somewhere in between?


Story continues in Success Magazine.

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures.


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