Every time I report on a remake or a sequel being made, I hear a lot of moans and groans from movie fans wanting to see Hollywood develop more original content. I would love nothing more than to see more films based on original ideas, but making these kinds of films is a gamble in the entertainment industry. Studios are scared to invest in films that don't already have a built-in market. When these studios make a sequel to a popular franchise, they know they are going to make a ****load of money. They don’t have that feeling of security with original film productions.
Disney recently bet big on an original project called Tomorrowland
, which was inspired by the theme park attraction as well as the imagination and dreams of Walt Disney
himself. The movie was directed by Brad Bird
from a script by Damon Lindelof
, and for the most part I really enjoyed the movie and thought it was an incredibly fun sci-fi adventure. Even though the general concept had a built-in Disney market, it didn’t do as well as Disney had hoped. It took the number one box office spot during Memorial Day weekend with over $41 million, but the studio was hoping for at least $50 million. The budget for the film was $180 million, and I’m sure it will eventually make a profit, but not the kind of profit that would inspire them to want to try and make another big budget original film.
I'm using Tomorrowland
as an example because it's the most recent original movie to be made, but I've seen it happen a lot with other original movies as well. I was sad to see a lot of film critics and movie geeks out there tear Tomorrowland
movie down. It gave us something very different from what we’re used to seeing get made with a good message, but a good amount of people out there looked past that aspect of it and focused on the faults. Most films have faults, even the ones that many of us love.
This is the kind of film that movie fans have been begging for, yet when it finally gets made and is released in theaters, they complain about it and bash it. This was an opportunity for people to come out in support of original film ideas, and praise its creators for trying something new. It was an opportunity to get other people pumped about original film ideas and show Hollywood that we are open to new ideas. Unfortunately that’s not what happened, and it’s a shame because now Hollywood is going to go back to being scared to pump out more original movie ideas, because of how this movie was received. Variety even wrote up an article
on how Tomorrowland
exposed Hollywood's originality issues and it includes several analysts and experts explaining why that's the case.
I’m a big fan of Bird and the projects that he’s done, and for me this movie felt like one of his animated feature films, only it was live-action. What’s funny about this is that I truly believe that if Tomorrowland
would have been developed as an animated feature film in Bird’s classic Iron Giant
animation style, with the exact same script, everyone would have loved it.
One of the reasons why I liked Tomorrowland
so much is because it had that same tone and vibe as The Iron Giant
. It had that childhood sense of wonder and imagination that some movies have the power to tap into and bring out in me. This is one of those films — it’s why I love going to the movies! I’m not sure why some people couldn’t see that in Tomorrowland
, because it was there. For me at least.
It seems to me that even though people claim to want original, fresh, and unique movie content, they are more interested in spending money on sequels and reboots. It’s a sad truth, and it’s the reason why Hollywood will continue to pump them out. If you want to see original movies get made, you seriously have to start supporting the ones that are getting made. If you don’t, then we need to stop complaining about all the non-original projects that are being released.
Then of course there's the argument that the original movies that Hollywood releases shouldn't be crap. I guess that just all comes down to a person's taste in movies, but at least there are talented people out there trying something new and different. We should at least acknowledge that these people are trying to break free from the Hollywood trap of remakes and sequels.
The audience decides what movies Hollywood makes, and that's whatever they are willing to spend money on, and right now it doesn't seem to be on original film ideas. The power is in our hands to make the change.
I'm a glass half-full kind of guy, keeping things positive when I can, so this is just my two cents.