The Problem with Sequels and Remakes
Jack Scanlan – 3rd August 2020
When it comes to movies and tv shows, remakes and unnecessary sequels often get a bad rep and this is because they are normally pretty bad and not well received and this happens mostly because companies just want to make quick cash grabs or because they are out of original ideas, and it’s disappointing to see this cause not only does it look bad for the company and the public eye but it leaves a bad taste on the series/franchise, and there are so many unfortunate examples of this in our day and age.
A good first example would be the CARS franchise by Pixar and Disney. The first movie released in 2006 was a hit success and an instant cult classic captivating audiences and kids with its fun-loving story and characters, grossing 462 million at the box office and scoring 75% on rotten tomatoes. Pixar and Disney then released CARS II in 2011 which was seen as a market cash grab, while it did gross 562 million (another problem ill get to later) it scored 39% on rotten tomatoes and was not received well by fans and this is because the story was messy and felt dry, and the main purpose of this movie was to sell toys (and that they did) Luckily they released CARS III in 2017 which was received well by fans and was seen as a fitting end to the CARS Trilogy
My next example of companies turning franchises into cash grabs is STAR WARS, now I hold Star Wars to a very dear place in my heart but after Disney brought the rights and created a new trilogy (it’s left a permanent scar on the series for me) this happened because Disney didn’t properly plan out these 3 movies and just made a lot of it up as they went along (which you cant do because you are inevitably going to create a bad product).
Now don’t get me wrong these movies did extremely well in Box Offices, The Force Awakens 2015 even made it to the 4th highest-grossing film of all time but just because a movie makes money does not mean it is a good movie, this trilogy felt uncomplete, rushed and messy and was harshly criticized by fans around the world (myself included) which brings me back to my earlier point, these movies are always going to make big dollars because of their name not because of how good the film is (if two companies announced 2 different movies, one described as a brand new space adventure with new characters and worlds, while the other was branded as Star Wars 10) everyone would go towards star wars 10 and this is the device companies use to create cash grabs by drawing you in with hype and nostalgia (the only reason The Force Awakens 2015 made so much money was because there hadn’t been a star wars film for 10 years)
My last major example and bone to pick is again with Disney and their obsession with turning cult classic animation masterpieces into recycled, live-action cash grabs. The two most recent examples are 2019s Aladdin and Lion King remakes, now while both films show off incredible animation achievements that only Disney can offer, they lack in the nostalgic feel that the originals bring, and this is sad cause it leaves a scar on the overall feel for both franchises. The problem here is again Disney are making too much money off these remakes to even care if we dislike or like them, and it doesn’t look like they are planning on stopping with a live-action Mulan remake set to release this year and a live-action The Little Mermaid on its way (if Disney keep making the money that they have been I don’t see them slowing down).
And I think this is partially our fault, when we heard that there was a live-action lion king coming out we all ran to check it out and this is how Disney make so much money off these films, by drawing you in with nostalgic re-use instead of original new concepts, and this shows when you look at Disney’s track record (they have released 7 Live-action remakes in the span of 4 years and already have planned another 9 live-action remakes to follow in the coming years.
To conclude I think Disney and other movie companies should focus on new creative stories and ideas instead of recycling cult classics and leaving a scar on their legacy by just remaking them for cash grabs. As I say this I must admit that I am also part of the problem as is everyone else, every time they announce a new Star Wars movie I am the first person to go out to watch it and when they announced a new Indiana Jones and a new Shrek movie, I do get hyped and excited to see it as soon as it gets released
I wish that we could have a way to influence Disney to make these new ideas and stories but I don’t see that ever happening and this is because of money (money is everything to these companies and especially to Disney). Disney owns 8 out of 10 of the highest-grossing films of all time (all of the top 5 are Disney owned)
On the other hand, I do respect the strategy that Disney use to market these movies, as much as I hate that they do it, they are making billions of dollars off of these remakes and continuing to grow as not only the most successful movie company out there but one of the most successful companies out there at the moment.