Reboot Culture: Are We Saying Goodbye to Original Movies?

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It’s starting to feel like the entertainment industry has run out of original ideas. We have seen more and more reboots in both film and TV, and while some can certainly be hits, many moviegoers are getting bored.

Rarely do remakes do justice to the original films and shows that they’re based upon. I mean, did we really need another Footloose in 2011? And did anyone ask for the disaster that was the second Independence Day in 2016? Come on–even the director of that very film, Roland Emmerich, admitted the film was a huge mistake.

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Does Anyone Like Reboots? 

Short answer? No.

Many former moviegoers are defecting to streaming services, which have created a major problem in the balance sheets of movie theaters for the past five years. After adjusting for inflation, the year 2014 saw the lowest box-office sales since 1995.

Sales did not see an uptick again until 2017, when theater attendance spiked as audiences flocked to see Jordan Peele’s thriller, Get Out. The original plot and timely social commentary offered by the film was a breath of fresh air to audiences that missed creativity.

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Get Out (The Atlantic)

Movie Theaters Are Dying

According to industry insider Rio Rocket, there were only a few films in November 2019 that were not reboots, sequels, or remakes. And this is in a year when the average ticket price is higher than ever at $9.11.

Joker and Ford v Ferrari are two original stories that are performing exceptionally well at the box office. Additionally, Lena Waithe’s Queen & Slim and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, both released at the end of November, did well above projections; Knives Out in particular doubled its projections with a five-day debut of $41.7 million.

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Queen & Slim (Warner Brothers)

November’s trend makes clear that audiences are getting most excited about fresh, new content.

What Do We Want? Original Films! When Do We Want Them?

Now! Actually, more like yesterday. As soon as possible, really.

Audiences have spoken: we will come out in droves for original films, but we’re getting sick of reboots. With movie ticket prices going up, not many people want to spend their disposable income on a cheap remake that will probably be worse than the original.

It helps when we as moviegoers can speak through our purchases. If we show up to the box office for original films like Get Out, Queen & Slim, and Knives Out, we’ll get more of the originality we crave.