There are two huge reasons why Hollywood remakes and reboots movies, and why they are so popular among crowds in the second decade of the 2000s:
- Production studios mitigate financial risk by banking on characters and franchises that are already well known
- People love seeing familiar characters in new scenarios or played by new actors to different effect
There’s no magic formula for explaining why there are so many movie remakes; well-established properties have a much greater chance of making money because they’ve already garnered enormous audiences. It’s something of a win-win for producers and consumers: moviegoers get to see their favorite characters in a whole new light, and producers get to recoup losses from riskier ventures that may not have paid off.
But it’s certainly something to be celebrated. While classic films will never be able to be recreated, reboots and remakes offer a bonus to fans who just can’t get enough.
Reboots and Remakes: What’s the Difference?
Lots of cinema fans use the two terms interchangeably, but there is definitely some merit to keeping the two separated. Each has qualities that make it a unique approach to reviving an old franchise or character set.
- Reboot – Think of this like restarting a computer. When your computer shuts down and starts running again, it looks just the same as it did before. But what you do with the computer after it reboots is entirely new. Movie reboots are the same – they start with an old layout, but the adventure is new.
- Remake – It means to make again, right? That’s exactly what a remake is – often, the script, setting, characters, and story remain largely unchanged from an older version. Visuals, pacing, storytelling, and actors change, all of which can have a profound and exciting effect on the significance of the movie – and are part of the reason why so many movie remakes are created and loved.
Well-loved movie reboots include the Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman), Daniel Craig’s James Bond films, and recent retellings in the Star Trek universe.
Very well-known and successful movie remakes include such titles as The Fly, Ocean’s Eleven, The Ring, and True Grit.
Where Intellectual Property Fits in
Intellectual property is the intangible asset of an idea or story that is owned by a creative individual or entity. In the case of movies, it’s a story, character, or franchise most often owned by a production company.
Rights to those properties may last a long, long time, but they don’t always last forever. If a property is successful, it makes logical and financial sense to capitalize on that property until the end of its life.
Capitalizing on intellectual property may be why Hollywood remakes movies in a sub-par fashion, featuring beloved characters and settings well past their initial debut. In a last-ditch effort to make money on an intellectual property license, studios sometimes pour limited resources into direct-to-video sequels and reboots.
How Long Will the Trend Last?
You might be asking why Hollywood is remaking everything and wondering when it will cease, but the surge of reboots and remakes may only be, at least partially, in our imaginations. Marketing and advertising for entertainment are extremely prominent right now, and money spent to market feature films is at an all-time high.
That means we consume more information about movies of all kinds whether we want to or not. It may just be that we notice reboots and remakes more often, at least in the case of cinema. But the trend is not likely to disappear soon.
As long as reboots and remakes are a safe bet for production studios, money will rule decision making in Hollywood. But again, that may not be such a bad thing, especially if you love to see your favorite characters in brand-new adventures. Check out Doc’s Drive-In Theatre’s schedule today to find your favorite stories and characters on our big screens!