Hello, fellow moviegoers!
In the film industry today, there is a giant trend of studios and audiences focusing exclusively on big franchises. Many people now will only go out to see whatever the next “big thing” is. It’s very rare that a completely original film soars at the box office anymore.
For those of you who don’t know, an original film is any film that is not based upon already pre-existing material. It must be a completely new idea. So no sequels, prequels, spinoffs, reboots, as well as nothing based upon real events, books, or comics. It seems like a vast majority of films that go into wide-release now don’t fall into this category. It’s an ever-shrinking quality, or at least it looks like it is.
Many of the films that go down in history as “classics” or “must-sees” are original films. The Matrix, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Psycho, Back to the Future, Birdman, and Inception are a few good examples. However, attendance to see these films has been down quite a bit. By my count, only seven original films managed to claim the #1 spot at the weekend box office in the entirety of last year, compared to the other thirty sequels/book-based/biopics that managed to take that position.
While it would be easy to say that this is due to less original films being made, it would also be incorrect. Actually, there are more original films being produced now than at any other point in history. However, when you look at the big picture, there are way more movies being made today than ever. When you take into account how many original films go into wide-release vs films based on pre-existing material, it’s easy to see that while more original films are being made, more movies based on something are going into wide-release for the world to see.
It’s a simple example of supply and demand. As movie ticket and concessions prices are skyrocketing, audiences are starting to really pick and choose which films they believe will provide the best social and entertaining experience. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why original films keep getting overlooked. People want to know what they’re in for before they see it. When a film is a sequel or based on a book, then audiences are already aware of the quality of the story. With original films, there is an element of risk involved. You can never be sure as to whether or not you’re in for a masterpiece or a dud. Can you really blame people for going with a safer option?
Studios have seen the box office numbers for these big event films such as The Hunger Games, The Avengers, and Star Wars. Contrary to popular belief, studios do listen to their audiences, but the method of communication isn’t through internet comments or forums. Audiences communicate to studios with their money. When studios see huge amounts of money going to certain films, they will make more films like that. Studios are run by money. They are businesses, it’s literally their goal.
With all of the big blockbusters and sequels being released, there are many fantastic original films that get left in the dust when it comes to the box office numbers. Films such as Ex Machina, Dope, and American Ultra fail to reach their full potential because they’re snuffed out by films like The Avengers, Star Wars, and Jurassic World.
So I implore you, go out of your way to support original and independent films. Support the art and craftsmanship that goes into creating some of these films that nobody sees. While that’s not to say that certain blockbusters don’t have an element of art to them, you can’t deny that the overall quality of blockbusters isn’t quite as good as it used to be.
So what do you think about this recent decline in the popularity of original films? What are some of your favorite films not based on pre-existing material? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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