Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Reboot Epidemic and the Rise of Independently Made Films

By Moriah Gallagher

Over the past few years we have seen unoriginal work after unoriginal work coming out of the Hollywood film industry. While every pretentious film buff and movie lover has been suffering in wasteland yearning for a creativity and authenticity, the vast majority of viewers seem to be enthusiastic about reboots. Basically, every successful television or film franchise from 1980 to 1999 is seeing itself rebooted for viewers in the year 2015. Films like Jurassic Park and Star Wars are again breaking the box office just like they did thirty years before. Wildly successful television shows such as Twin Peaks, The X Files, and Full House are also being robooted. So why is this happening? Has Hollywood finally ran out of ideas and creativity or is what we are seeing the result of a desire to make more money? After all, these films and television shows made people tons of money before, why cant they do it again? 

According to the data blog The Droid You Are Looking For, there have been 122 remakes from the years 2003-2012 and these remakes have made nearly 12 billion dollars at the box offices. With profit like that why wouldn't Hollywood take advantage of a reboot? The reason reboots are so immensely successful is because most of these films and TV shows already have a steady fan base so all the hard work is done for them. Take Star Wars for instance, everyone loves Star Wars and if you are a Star Wars fan you are a Star Wars fan for life. Even Warner Brothers Pictures’  The Clone Wars, widely regarded as a sub-par film, with an 18% score on Rotten Tomatoes, still managed to capture peoples attention, not only from children but also from adults. With a reboot, Hollywood can make a mediocre version of a once successful movie because they don't have to put forth effort and take the risk of creating new and original ideas. They simply can take some else’s idea without the risk of not making profit.

Partly, the resurgence of these TV shows and movies can be owned to the popularity in nostalgia for the 80s and the 90s. Everywhere you go on the internet there is some twenty something talking about how great the nineties were and even though they may have only been a toddler during the time, they maintain that this was a renaissance era. These are the people who are emerging into the workforce and there fondness for the media of that time is showing in their work; in the fact that it isn't their work at all, but the work of someone twenty years before. Of course the big executives see this and they want in too. Everyone makes money, everyone is happy. 

Reboots on the occasion are appreciated but the mass influx we are seeing of these ideas may be wearing out its welcome. Many hardcore film fans are extremely frustrated by what they are seeing as exploitation of pervious works. From the decrease in the originality amongst Hollywood’s movies we are also seeing a rise in independent made films or “indie films.” Hollywood is becoming less and less likely to make films which do not guarantee mass success, they’d rather make a multimillion dollar remake because its safe.

Instead of writers and directors taking their ideas to major production companies they are making it on their own. More and more we are seeing the popularity of independently made movies increase because the Independent directors and producers are willing to take creative risks (which nowadays consists of not stealing someone else's storyline). They do not make movies so much for the profit as they do for the plain and simple sake of making a quality film. Films such as 12 Years a Slave, which was originally rejected by Paramount Pictures made nearly 38 million in the box offices and won best picture at the 86th Academy Awards.  

The creative spirit of mainstream Hollywood may be lost but we are seeing something rise up and take its place. Independently made films are become the leading creative force in the film industry. As long as there is an easy way to make money we will see these major production companies continue with the incestuous use of previously made material. The danger of these major production companies decisions lies in the fact they underestimate the public in thinking that they can continue to reuse material and satisfy the viewers. When viewers desire original ideas this will lead to economic hardship and ultimately to the demise of mainstream Hollywood.


  1. I really enjoyed your article; this is a topic I've been frustrated with and have debated with friends. This was very well written and your paragraphs flowed nicely.

  2. Nice topic and well written! Just one small suggestion: you use the word "reboot" quite a bit in the first few paragraphs. While I get that the article is talking about reboots , perhaps use some synonyms so the word doesn't get redundant. Also, if you ever choose to revisit this article, some quotes from movie lovers could round it out nicely! Other than that, no comments really- it was a good read!