In a world where stress is at an all-time high, many turn to movies for a break from the chaos of everyday life. For two hours, people can just grab some popcorn and become emerged in a different world. Newly released movies, however, are looking more and more like the iconic movies we have seen in the past.
There are currently 135 movie remakes that will be produced between 2017 and 2021, according to IMDb. The reasoning behind this lofty of a number for remakes, isn’t all that surprising: all the top 10 worldwide grossing movies in 2017 were either sequels to a movie or a remake.
When viewers are already entranced by a movie, it is easy for the film industry to exploit this for a profit. It also saves moviemakers the effort of creating an original idea.
To be fair, reboots of classic movies are not always a bad thing. As Stephen King’s It and Wonder Woman have shown, sometimes rebuilding a movie by furthering the character development or through giving the movie a different outlook can enhance the story.
These few remakes, however, are the exceptions to an industry that has begun to take beloved films and lazily redo them—without adding the substance needed to make the movie better than the original. For every good movie remake, there are two of The Mummy’s or Baywatch’s, which are poorly edited and better left untouched in their respective pasts.
Movies are supposed to be art. Although to the general public the cinematic experience may be more for pleasure than for critiquing, it is important that films are created with artistic effort—and not just for the maximum amount of profit.
When the general public buys tickets to poorly constructed remakes of previously loved classic movies, we are telling moviemakers that tickets can cheaply be bought on nostalgia alone. It is integral that we, as a society, stand up against these cash grabs and insist that poorly made movies will not be watched.
In our cinema, we must look for more than just the name of a movie we recognize or a well-known actor. It needs to be known that rehashed tricks and poorly constructed subplots will not produce a profit; instead, they will result in bad ratings and little-to-no box office rates.
The only way to successfully stop studios from remaking classic movies starts and ends with the general public. Sources like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb are reputable sites when looking up ratings of movies written by both critics and moviegoers.
In addition to being educated about upcoming films, it is important to buy tickets to original and well-developed movies. It is also imperative to consider a movie that is not as widely known, as it may end up being your new favorite. For example, the 2016 Best Picture winner, Moonlight, had minimal playing in select theaters before it’s nomination for an Oscar.
As consumers, we deserve original, well-made content when it comes to the films we watch and the money we spend. It is essential to hold studios accountable for creating innovative, interesting films—not just remaking popular movies.