If you can still make money, why bother being creative?

Published 5:25 am Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I don’t see near as many movies lately as I once used to. One reason is because I have to drive at least 20 minutes away to get to a theater, another reason is because the prices of tickets seem to keep going up year after year. However, I think the biggest reason is because it seems like Hollywood has lost its creative spark.

I was disappointed to see that Fast and Furious 6 recently became the biggest opening film in Universal Pictures’ history. It made $120 million over the Memorial Day weekend, from Friday until Monday. However, it still wasn’t as successful as Disney’s Iron Man 3, which made $175.3 million over its Friday-to-Sunday opening earlier this month.

Fast and Furious 6 beat out The Hangover III, which made $51.2 million during the holiday. And Star Trek Into Darkness was third with $47 million on the weekend.

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Do you notice something that all of those movies have in common? They’re either sequels, or movies based on an existing franchise. To be fair, I haven’t seen any of them, and I’ve only seen one movie in any of these series — the original, The Hangover. However, I don’t think I have to necessarily have seen any of these films to be able to stay that it’s disappointing that it is so rare to find a truly unique and creative idea have success in Tinsel Town nowadays.

It’s not until the No. 4 film, the animated Epic, that you finally get something resembling an original idea.

And if this summer is indication, we’re headed for even more remakes (sorry, they’re called “reboots” now, apparently) and sequels. We’ve got Man of Steel, which is a reboot of the Superman franchise. I don’t understand why it’s necessary considering we just had Superman Returns in 2006, but there you go.

We’ve also got The Wolverine, based on the X-Men franchise, and Despicable Me 2. Even my beloved Pixar, who I consider one of the most creative studios in all of Hollywood, is taking the easy way out with some of its upcoming films — Monsters University and Finding Dory. There’s even a Godzilla film coming out in 2014. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I thought after watching the Matthew Broderick fiasco of 1998 was, “Boy, I hope they make another modern version of this goofy story 16 years from now!”

I guess we only have ourselves to blame, though. After all, when Fast and Furious 6 makes $120 million in one weekend and Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook makes $132 million in its entire run, it’s hard to blame the studios for continuing to rehash and remarket old ideas.

I just hope you’re ready for The Hangover III Part 2, coming to a theater near you in summer 2014.