It seems as though recently Hollywood has gained the reputation that the majority of its films fit into one of the categories in the title. The film industry is just that, an industry, so of course finances and profit play a big part in studios’ decisions to pick up or green light films. However with the seemingly never-ending stream of franchises, welcome or not, Hollywood is gaining a reputation of recycling and unoriginality. This feature
will explore whether most sequels are warranted from a narrative and artistic point of view as opposed to financially driven, and
whether an unnecessary addition to a series can in fact damage the original film or not.
2015 seems to be the year of the sequel comprising of the expected staples such as the latest James Bond film as well as unexpected sequels, the continuation of long-running franchises, and the latest book-to-scree
n adaptations of Young Adult novels. That is not to say that there haven’t been remarkable gems of originality be it in blockbuster or indie form, but the
take over of cinema screens has been largely down to the franchises. The box office this year has been dominated by sequels and spinoffs, with ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Minions’ all breaking box office records and infiltrating the Top 10 Highest-grossing films of all time. There also appears to be a pattern emerging of sequels and reboots of films and franchises that came out decades ago, with Pixar launching the sequels to all the films whose original target audience is now verging on adulthood, as well as Star Wars adding another reboot-sequel trilogy to its anthology and the Ghostbusters reboot/sequel/who knows adding a new twist. The latest in the sequel news even involves ‘Mary Poppins’ getting a sequel, over 50 years after the much-loved classic was first released.
It is safe to say that these films sometimes gain mixed reactions upon announcement, which can potentially transfer to the film’s release, but the fact is, remakes, reboots, spinoffs and sequels, often guarantee a good box office, giving Hollywood a warrant to continue its incessant franchise-building. Some sequels are valued as great additions to a franchise, others seem to be empty cash grabs, and few even fall by the wayside proving that these kinds of films can be a risky business.