The filmmaking industry has always been a business first, and some of the major studios’ most successful projects came from taking popular radio shows, which were the previous form of entertainment and turning them into television shows and sometimes films. Over the years the studio system grew in to a production machine, pumping out creative masterpieces that lead to the magical and creative sentiment Hollywood has garnered. Oftentimes the wondrous masterpieces mesmerized the public and entertained during downturns in the economy, and kept our imaginations growing. During our current economic slump, Hollywood has reverted back its roots, although they have not had the same results. I feel that the current trend of remakes and sequels has only left the public detracted and dissatisfied by the lack of creativity. This may result in a future backlash against them should the trend continue.
How the Economy Affects Creativity in Hollywood
In Edward Jay Epstein’s book, “The Hollywood Economist” the author quotes an anonymous studio source saying; ‘It’s a terrific idea, too bad it has not been made into a movie already or we could have done the remake”(Epstein, 2009, p. 185). The quote was pertaining to Hollywood’s originality, when it comes to making a movie. To make matters worse, the script had attached stars, an approved script, and a bankable director. Another anonymous studio executive went on to say that, “studios today are in the market for four types of movies when it comes to wide openings; remakes (King Kong), sequels (Star Wars: Episode III, television spin-offs (Mission: Impossible), or video game extensions (Laura Croft: Tomb Raider)” (p. 186). In this current economy we have seen an increasing number of video game/comic book extensions, remakes, and sequels. The lists of movies that will be in theaters soon, or in production are seemingly endless. For example: Thor, Tron: Legacy, Green Lantern, Green Hornet, The Smurfs, Yogi Bear, Little Fockers, Gulliver’s Travels, Red Riding Hood, Scream 4, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Cars 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Conan, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, The Thing, The Three Musketeers, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of Dawn Treader, The Hangover Part 2, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows-Part 1 & 2, Fast Five, and the list goes on. I think twenty-six major studio movies over the next year alone, is enough to prove my point. A company that has consistently fed this creatively challenged, Hollywood-Studio culture, and will continue to do so, is Marvel Studios. In 2009 Disney bought Marvel for over four billion dollars, and the acquisition made good sense. (Fernandez, Borys, 2010, Hollywood Reporter). It would provide Disney with a stream of storyline’s to carry them for years to come. It also made good sense for Marvel as well. In 1996 Marvel filed for bankruptcy and the publisher probably wanted to avoid it for a second time, and did not want to end up like many magazines and newspapers, by publishing online only, or completely extinct. Since Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, the companies have feverishly gone in to production on virtually all of Marvel’s most popular comics. Numerous films on the list cited previously, come from Marvel. It is reported that the future will also bring a revamp of the Spider Man trilogy, which was a box office record breaker at the time of its release. It would appear that Marvel and Disney is hoping to breathe new life into the series, in the way DC comics’ Dark Knight Series did for Batman. But Marvel is no stranger to redundant and unimaginative revamps: In 2003 Marvel and Universal teamed up for the release “Hulk,” which starred Eric Bana and had modest success at the box office. Only five years later, in 2008 Marvel and Universal released the same...
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