Hollywood’s lack of originality leaves much to be desired

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Erica Schindler

From sequels to adaptations to remakes, many of today’s new movies are not original ideas. Although franchises such as “Star Wars” and “Marvel” are extremely popular and successful, many movie-goers are longing for more original movies.
In recent years, it seems as though most new movies being released into theaters are either part of a series or are adaptations or remakes. According to IMBd.com, the top ten highest-grossing movies of 2019 all fell into one of these categories. Additionally, several of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year were remakes or adaptations from previous works: “Joker”, “The Irishman”, “Little Women” and “Jojo Rabbit”.
Are these remakes what the consumers want, or is it just what Hollywood is offering? Well, a recent poll of 137 Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students showed nearly half of students surveyed would prefer to watch a stand-alone movie than a sequel or prequel, a movie based on a book or comic or a remake of a previous movie.
Original movies tend to be more interesting than movies that are remakes or sequels of other films.

“You could have a really good movie to start and then the sequel could be really really bad,” junior Taylor Hopkins said.

Non-original movies can, and sometimes do, still wow audiences. However, it is clear that the movie industry is lacking creativity. While past generations have seen the release of countless original classics, many of today’s movies have gotten repetitive and over-done.
In the 1970s, the top-grossing movies included classics like “Rocky” and “Saturday Night Fever”. These are films that people have enjoyed for decades and have influenced a part of pop culture even today.
In the 2010s, the top-grossing movies included “Jurassic World” and “Lion King.” While those movies are highly entertaining and do deserve praise, top movie studios have failed to provide audiences with new and unique ideas. While past generations have been able to go to the theater and be surprised by the plot and characters in a movie, today’s public frequently loses out on that excitement.
One major motivation for movie studios to continue to release sequels and remakes may be money. Big franchises are already established, famous names. They also tend to have dedicated fan bases who will be sure to go see the next movie in a series. Similarly, fans of movies or comics will be eager to see a movie adaptation of one they like.

I think they’ve started to be less creative because at the end of the day it’s about money,” junior Claire Fisher said. “If they know a sequel or a remake of a popular industry will make money, why wouldn’t they pull ideas from that? They use ideas that were already successful to ensure they make money.”

Despite their positive qualities, remakes and franchise movies often lack the important qualities like timelessness, uniqueness and originality that make classic movies classic. For most, the best movies are the ones that present them with new ideas and plots.

“My favorite movie is probably ‘Inception’, or movies like that that are really creative,” sophomore Joe Kaplan said.

There are some fantastic films being released today; some sequels, some originals. Movies in either category can be good or bad or in between. But one thing is clear; the current range of movies leaves much to be desired and Hollywood needs to step up its game. More original movies will draw more people into theaters and boost the industry even more.