It seems these days that nothing is off-limits from the Hollywood ‘Repeat Machine’. Constant production of new content such as feature films, television shows, reality TV, commercials, and even webisodes, well, really are not all that new anymore. According to Kirby, creator of Everything is a Remix, “of the ten highest grossing films per year from the last ten years, 74 out of 100 are either sequels or remakes of earlier films, or adaptations of comic books, video games, books, and so on.” That is a pretty staggering number!
Also be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2, which focus on the music industry and the development of new technologies.
Currently, up on the production block are 50 Upcoming Movie Remakes (Yep, 50!). Included in the list are beloved movies such as Dirty Dancing (1987) and The Birds (1963), as well as cult classics like RoboCop (1987) and Mad Max (1979). Ironically, one of the most controversial films on the upcoming remake production slate is Brian De Palma’s crime saga Scarface (1983). Ironic because the cocaine classic was itself a remake of a 1932 Howard Hawks film by the same name.
Films these days do not necessarily even need to be a remake to turn [more] profit. Take, for example, the Star Wars franchise. This past weekend Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) was re-released to theaters in 3D and it ultimately earned fourth place in the Weekend Box Office Results. Star Wars is the epitome of successful branding and marketing. Just look at how many theatrical releases the Star Wars movies will have had after the completion of its upcoming 3D run:
There were the original three films (Episodes IV, V, & VI).
Then came the Special Edition re-release of the first three films.
Next, the creation of Episodes I, II, & III.
Now, they are re-releasing all the films (from Episode I through VI) again in 3D.
After all is said and done, the Star Wars films will have appeared in theaters fifteen times! At roughly $10/ticket x millions of views/movie = well… a lot of money. Keep in mind that this does not even factoring the video game sales, the merchandise, the animated series, theme park rides, or royalties for that matter. The list goes on.
Just for fun, check out the original 1976 Star Wars Budget.
Perhaps the lesson to learn here is that there is always money to be made from content, however, creating new and unique content may require substantially more time and effort. Is it worth it?
Cheers to creative brainstorming!