Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:48 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt? 
Author Message
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: New Hampshire
Post Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Here's the skinny: I've seen Hollywood studios castigated online for supposed creative bankruptcy, reduced to a factory of mind-numbing sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots and franchise films. A cursory look at 2015 's release schedule may at first seem to bear that out. Here is some of what is on tap for next year:

Taken 3
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Cinderella
Paranormal Activity 6
Divergent 2
Furious 7
Paul Blart 2
Avengers 2
Mad Max 4
Pitch Perfect 2
Insidious 3
Jurassic World
Transporter 4
Ted 2
Magic Mike XXL
Terminator 5
Poltergeist remake
Point Break remake
Fantastic Four 3
The Man From UNCLE
Sinister 2
Hitman reboot
The Maze Runner 2
Hotel Transylvania 2
Jungle Book remake
Vacation reboot
Spectre
Friday the 13th reboot
Mockingjay Part 2
Star Wars 7
Alvin and the Chipmunks 4
MI5

One might look at that and say things are bleak. But it seems to me that a historical look has never really been taken. That is what I would like to do here. I'm going to examine the box office returns of the past few decades to see if this accusation of creative bankruptcy really holds up. I think I'll start with 1980, since it is the farthest back Box Office Mojo goes, and it is far enough removed from today's Hollywood that a good comparison can be made. To be continued....

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:02 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
1980

This year featured a franchise film as the year's highest grosser (The Empire Strikes Back). Furthermore, the following films in the year's top 30 were remakes, sequels, reboots or re-releases:

Any Which Way You Can
Smokey and the Bandit 2
Cheech and Chong's Next Movie
The Jazz Singer
Lady and the Tramp

Furthermore, it could be argued the The Blues Brothers was a semi-remake, being based on a SNL sketch, as was Popeye (based on a cartoon), and Flash Gordon (based on a serial). There were several movies that would inspire sequels of their own: Airplane, Caddyshack, The Blue Lagoon, and Friday the 13th. The Shining would later be remade.

So that is 14 out of 30. It seems that even at this stage, the studios weren't entirely averse to franchises.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:21 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:40 pm
Posts: 545
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
There are a lot of retreads/reboots/sequels/remakes/etc coming up in 2015, but would it break the record set in 2011?

As for the question in your thread title: was that ever in doubt?

_________________
"Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain."


Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:48 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
1981

This year's top-grossing film also spawned a franchise - specifically Indiana Jones. Raiders of the Lost Ark outgrossed everything by a wide margin.

Other sequels/franchise films were:

Superman II
For Your Eyes Only
Tarzan, the Ape Man
The Great Muppet Caper
Cinderella
Halloween 2

Clash of the Titans and Endless Love would be remade. There would be further Superman sequels and Bond films, as well as sequels to The Cannonball Run and An American Werewolf in London.

So that's 11 out of 30...not far off the pace of the previous year.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:00 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3850
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Sequels and remakes have been commonplace for decades now, so I don't believe Hollywood is any more creatively bankrupt today then it was back then.


Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:44 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Vexer wrote:
Sequels and remakes have been commonplace for decades now, so I don't believe Hollywood is any more creatively bankrupt today then it was back then.


This is what I'm exploring here. I want to see if there has been a trend toward more sequels and franchise properties, of if we are just over-exaggerating the output of American studios. A little data goes a long way. With that said...

1982

Several sequels made the Top 30 this year: Rocky III, Stark Trek II, Friday the 13th Part 3, and Airplane II. Porky's, 48 Hrs., First Blood, Conan the Barbarian and Tron would all inspire sequels. Poltergeist and Annie would later be remade.

So again, 11 out of 30. The highest-grossing film of the year was not a franchise film; it was E.T. Furthermore, original properties occupied the top three slots. Tootsie was #2 and An Officer and a Gentleman was #3.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:52 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 1475
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
I don't know if it's creative bankruptcy or an unwillingness to release stuff that doesn't have an existing brand name. Looking at the figures posted for 1980-82 indicates that this has always been the case.

_________________
This ain't a city council meeting you know-Joe Cabot

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out-Martin Scorsese.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1347771599


Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:33 am
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:15 pm
Posts: 257
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Here is an original film that is going to be release this year even thought the concept isn't all that original. The Age of Adaline.


Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:37 pm
Profile
Producer

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 2050
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
1980 is a significant place to start in tracing to where we are now. That was when Pauline Kael wrote her article "Why Are the Movies So Bad? The Numbers." Everything she says in it continues to this day. It's just the way things have gone.

Another interesting piece:

http://www.salon.com/2000/06/27/nashville_2/

Which points to 1975 as the time when Jaws hit the scene and the first wave of New Hollywood directors (Altman, Polanski, Arthur Penn, Peckinpah) were basically forgotten overnight. I mean, I love Spielberg and think he's a genius, but I do wonder about the negative repercussions of what was at the time an unprecedented level of success for just one director. The biggest hits are what change the industry, for better or (more often) worse.


Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:07 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 1806
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
I'm tempted to say no, but then I contemplate "Paul Blart 2" and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" and ask, why if there's a God in heaven, why this?

By the way, Pitch Perfect 2 doesn't look half bad. If nothing else, it looks like the singing's great. Maybe I should check out the first one. And there's certainly room for another Jungle Book if it's as pretty as the stills. Though I would love to see a film version of "The Graveyard Book," which seems to me to be a natural.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:39 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
1983

The #1 film this year was a franchise film - Return of the Jedi. Several others fell under the franchise/remake/sequel/reissue category: Octopussy, Sudden Impact, Staying Alive, National Lampoon's Vacation, Superman III, Never Say Never Again, Jaws 3D, Scarface, Psycho II, Porky's II, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Twilight Zone: The Movie.

That is 13 out of 30. Interestingly enough, there were no other films in the year's top 30 that spawned sequels; they were all original properties. However, the Bond franchise would continue, Vacation would spawn several sequels, Superman would spawn another Reeve sequel, Psycho would spawn a few more sequels and a remake, and The Dead Pool would follow Sudden Impact.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:12 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3850
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Syd Henderson wrote:
I'm tempted to say no, but then I contemplate "Paul Blart 2" and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" and ask, why if there's a God in heaven, why this?

By the way, Pitch Perfect 2 doesn't look half bad. If nothing else, it looks like the singing's great. Maybe I should check out the first one. And there's certainly room for another Jungle Book if it's as pretty as the stills. Though I would love to see a film version of "The Graveyard Book," which seems to me to be a natural.

I would think Fifty Shades of Grey would be more the type of film to make you think that(It would not surprise me one bit if JB gave that film zero stars, that's how terrible it looks), I enjoyed the first Paul Blart and HTTT films well enough, so i'm not opposed to them getting sequels.


Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:46 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:35 pm
Posts: 882
Location: Puerto Rico
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Syd Henderson wrote:
I'm tempted to say no, but then I contemplate "Paul Blart 2" and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" and ask, why if there's a God in heaven, why this?


And the studios would say "Why not?". Paul Blart was a box office success, making $157M over its budget, and Hot Tub Time Machine made $28 over its budget. I assume both would be cheap to make, and whoever went to see the first ones, would probably see the sequels.

_________________
"Get busy living, or get busy dying"

Visit my site: Thief12 profile


Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:51 pm
Profile WWW
Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 1806
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
I'm not sure you should count the first in a series, assuming it's original (Raiders) and not derivative (Superman, since it was a tv series and serial).

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:33 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
1984

This year did not have many sequels or remakes in the top 30. The few sequels included Star Trek 3, Temple of Doom, Friday the 13th Part 4, and Conan the Destroyer. However, this was the year that launched a butt load of franchises. Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Police Academy, Footloose, Revenge of the Nerds, Breakin', Red Dawn, The Terminator, and The Gods Must Be Crazy would all get sequels or be remade.

That's a full half of the year's top grossing films, and most of the Top 10. If there is any kind of trends toward creative bankruptcy, it could be argued that it maybe started here.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:11 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:40 pm
Posts: 796
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
I have a hard time believing that it's "creative bankruptcy" as opposed to "risk aversion." On her iMDb page, producer Gale Ann Hurd said this: "Filmmaking is a business and at the bottom line people who don't make fiscally responsible decisions end up going into another line of work. You've seen several independent companies go bust recently. There's every reason in the world to put your money behind a sure bet and if you check the business sequels do it's really one of the surest bets around."

I'm an aspiring filmmaker myself, and I have about 3 dozen new ideas for movies off the top of my head. Even if I make it big in Hollywood, few if any will be made. Why? Because they're not "brand" name stories. It is more difficult to market a movie without a name association. More money for less work...what's to dislike from someone holding the money?

What drives me nuts is that people will come to see a movie based on the concept. Say what you want about "The Purge," but it made a killing based on the idea. It was a terrible movie (although the sequel kicked ass), but it made nearly $90 million based on that.

If we want to change this, we have to stop going to all of these pre-planned franchises. If we stop going, they'll stop making them. It's like tabloid journalism, Rush Limbaugh and corrupt politicians: they exist because we give them money.

_________________
My movie review site:

Mighty Mike's Raging Reviews

http://mightymikesragingreviews.blogspot.com/


Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:32 am
Profile WWW
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3850
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Limbaugh has actually lost quite a bit of money over the past few years, as over 300 sponsors have abandoned his show after learning about his homophobic, racist and misogynist views and the number of listeners for his show has also dropped massively(he has something like less then 1.4 million viewers, nowhere near the 20 million he claims to have).

Soon he'll pretty much be talking to himself.

I liked the Purge, so I was happy for it's success. The fact that a film can make plenty of money based on a concept should be reason for enough for Hollywood to give more independent films a try.


Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:49 am
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:40 pm
Posts: 796
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Vexer wrote:
Limbaugh has actually lost quite a bit of money over the past few years, as over 300 sponsors have abandoned his show after learning about his homophobic, racist and misogynist views and the number of listeners for his show has also dropped massively(he has something like less then 1.4 million viewers, nowhere near the 20 million he claims to have).

Soon he'll pretty much be talking to himself.

I liked the Purge, so I was happy for it's success. The fact that a film can make plenty of money based on a concept should be reason for enough for Hollywood to give more independent films a try.


I hope so, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Whatever happened to movies that aren't special effects behemoths, or based on books by Stephanie Meyer or Nicholas Sparks?

_________________
My movie review site:

Mighty Mike's Raging Reviews

http://mightymikesragingreviews.blogspot.com/


Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:57 am
Profile WWW
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm
Posts: 1350
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
While it's not totally creatively bankrupt, it's definitely not as creatively fertile as it could be. Like just about everything else in this country, it's far too overly concerned with making money. Yes, the broader a movie is, the more money it will likely make... but also the more homogenized it'll usually feel. :?


Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:02 am
Profile
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2271
Post Re: Is Hollywood really creatively bankrupt?
Syd Henderson wrote:
I'm tempted to say no, but then I contemplate "Paul Blart 2" and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" and ask, why if there's a God in heaven, why this?

By the way, Pitch Perfect 2 doesn't look half bad. If nothing else, it looks like the singing's great. Maybe I should check out the first one. And there's certainly room for another Jungle Book if it's as pretty as the stills. Though I would love to see a film version of "The Graveyard Book," which seems to me to be a natural.


Hot Tub Time Machine 2 actually looks pretty fun. I'm sure it won't be a great movie but it looks like a really fun one.


Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:01 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr