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Article – Is The Hollywood Sequel and Remake Bubble About to Burst?


Posted September 6, 2017 by

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Is The Hollywood Sequel and Remake Bubble About to Burst?

Summer is ending, and it has been a bit cold- when it comes to the US box office that is. So far in 2017, box office revenue has seen the steepest decline in recent history, and for the first time since 2006, the US box office revenue has failed to crack $4 billion.  Not only is the box office suffering, but theater attendance is also at record lows…Signaling the lowest amount of tickets sold in 25 years.

Why is this occurring? Here are some of the main reasons why:

  1. The lack of original mainstream films– As each year passes, more and more reboots, remakes, sequels, and adaptations are made. Studios are relying heavier on major tentpole films to keep them financially afloat. With these major films, they know there is going to be a return on investment as opposed to the risk associated with more original films. However, audiences are beginning to tire of the lack of originality.
  2. Competition from television– Right now, we are in the era of peak television. Where mainstreams films lack in originality, TV shows thrive. Many consumers would rather stay home and catch up on Game of Thrones than venture out to a movie theater.
  3. Rising Ticket (and Concessions) Prices– For the first quarter of 2017, the average ticket price was reported to be $8.84- a record high. With rising prices, audiences are staying at home- which brings us back to the above point. The most basic Netflix plan costs $7.99 a month in the US.

There are other factors too- such as poor marketing, poor timing, and the location (and demographics) of film releases, but the main reasons shouldn’t be ignored. Based on these findings, is Hollywood going to change its ways anytime soon and is it really a sign that the remake and sequel crisis its finally running its course? Over the past couple of years, audiences have complained of Hollywood’s lack of interesting films, and star power is not as important as it used to be. Films such as Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Transformers: The Last Knight, Baywatch, Rough Night, The Mummy, The Dark Tower, and King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword underperformed or bombed entirely despite their large budgets, large marketing campaigns, and A-list talent. On another note, major studio such as Disney (and Marvel) have a huge slate of reboots, adaptations, and sequels planned. And other studios have a slew of remakes planned as well. For some of these films, it’s a bit early to tell how they will fare with audiences. Are they necessary? Absolutely not. But despite audiences’ complaints, many people will still see these films regardless- out of curiosity, boredom, or pressure from others (such as children and/or spouses).

With the underwhelming box office, it’s a sign for Hollywood to change.  With the increased competition from television, social media, and digital media, Hollywood blockbusters are losing out to more original and engaging content. If they keep going at the rate they are going, the box office flops will occur more frequently.

What do you think? Do you think things in Hollywood are going to change in the next few years or stay the same?


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Written by:

Adriana Gomes-Weston
Freelance Contributor

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