We have all heard the complaints. “Hollywood is all sequels and remakes”. “Why don’t they make original movies anymore”. The fact is, they do, and the people complaining don’t see them.
If last weekends box office was any indication, then original films in Hollywood are on the rise. Six of the top ten money making films at the box office last weekend were all original, non-franchise or sequel products. In fact, Dunkirk, was the first non-franchise outing to top the box office this summer.
Yet in the fray were films like Baby Driver, The Big Sick and Girls Trip. All of them original and all of them solid movies. Even the ones of lesser quality, still count. So why are people so adamant that Hollywood doesn’t produce anything original? The domestic top ten hauled in roughly $172.6 million. The aformentioned six original films in that top ten accounted for just under 65% of the total weekend earnings. Compare that to the numbers from a year ago, where only 52% of the top ten gross was accumulated by original films.
One can be a bit disheartened when going to the theater and see previews for nothing but sequels. Recently I was at a showing of a movie and the trailers that were played were nearly all for sequels. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t share my thoughts. I would love to see less sequels and remakes, but money talks. I mean do we really need to see a third Pitch Perfect film? Did Daddy’s Home need a sequel? Probably not, but the box office earnings say otherwise.
Perhaps the reason behind the thought process is the marketing machine that big studios have. Indie films like The Big Sick need more word of mouth push. I’ve shown films to many people who have not even heard of the movie, and they mostly end up enjoying them. This article’s purpose isn’t to bag on those who do enjoy the big spectacle, blockbuster films. There is nothing wrong with films like the Planet of the Apes trilogy or Spider-Man. I enjoy them as well.
By my rough count, nearly 40 films of the many that have been released since May (the unofficial start of the summer movie slate) are all non-franchise, non-sequel movies. Some are based on books, but its still considered original in my view.
The purpose of this article is only to state, original films are out there. If you’re tired of the franchise tentpoles and sequels, seek out some indie stuff. Find an art house theater near you. There are always original movies to be found, so it’s time to stop complaining about originality in Hollywood.