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The Decline of Hollywood

The Variety headline reads: "Eli Roth Boards 'Cabin Fever' reboot". (Eli Roth Boards "Cabin Fever" Reboot)

Yep, that horror film from 2002 is being rebooted to reach a whole new generation of fans.  Or, you know, because it was only made 12 years ago, the same generation that saw it the first time.

This has become the current state of Hollywood.  We'll pump out a bunch of Marvel movies, sequels to Michael Bay movies, and reboots of movies that were made within the last fifteen years.  That will bring in the money.

Actually, in the case of this years box office, it won't.  Despite some successes (Guardian's of the Galaxy, Captain America 2), this years box office is down.  That's with more movies being released in 3-D and IMAX and playing in more movie theaters.

Yes, 2013 set a record in box office totals. 2014 had a lot to live up to.  It certainly hasn't.  In fact, since 2009, 2014 has only made more money than the year 2011. (Box Office Mojo)

If you look at adjusted ticket prices and inflation, Gone with the Wind is still the highest grossing movie of all time.  That's just one example. 

To what end do the studios continue to pump out these movies?  Total Recall and RoboCop are just two recent examples in which a lot of money was poured into these movies and a loss (or very minimal return) occurred on the bottom line.

If a studio is going to reboot a movie, why not make it something that was made over thirty years ago?  Maybe a 'B' movie that very many people didn't see the first time around.  Sometimes this works. (Gone in 60 Seconds).  Sometimes it doesn't (Get Carter).  That has always been the crap shoot of Hollywood and making films.  Some will see success and some won't, no matter the subject matter of the movie.

With the success of Marvel movies and the reboot of Spiderman (which was very successful the first time, less than fifteen years ago), studios are now trying their hands at all sorts of superhero movies.  Fantastic Four and DareDevil both have new movies in the works.  These were both movies that failed, in terms of Hollywood, the first time around.  Though Fantastic Four made enough money to warrant a sequel, audiences look at these as inferior superhero movies.

Over the last fifteen years, I've seen three different characters play The Hulk.  Try and fail.  Try again and fail.  Give it to Mark Ruffalo in an ensemble movie, it works.

Don't get me wrong.  I have enjoyed many of the Marvel movies over the past five years.  They are well made, for the most part, are entertaining, and even have substance to them.  On the other hand, when doing a reboot, I don't need to see the origin story of Spider-man every time.  Will this happen when Robert Downey, Jr. is done with the character of 'Iron Man'?  Will Marvel reboot it completely and we'll have to watch his origin story again? 

The reboot fascination has now spread to television.  With so many good, original shows on television, I don't know why they are starting to lean this way.  Sure, it may be MTV that is doing this, but other studios are starting to take notice in order to help secure an 18-30 year old demographic.  Recently, Cameron Crowe and John Cusack spoke out against a t.v. reboot of the movie Say Anything (Rolling Stone).  And the studio has put that idea on hold.  Thankfully.

The system is never going to be perfect.  Maybe, just maybe, with the box office in decline, it's time to start digging for original ideas again.  There are great writers and directors out there that are going unnoticed because studios are not taking a chance of them.  If studios never took a chance, we wouldn't have classics like Star Wars and Jaws.  Yes, we have been inudated with sequels of these movies because the originals made so much money.  That's part of how the system works.  I don't necessarily have a problem with sequels. (Unless it has the word Transformers in the title).

Cabin Fever.  A 2002 film starring Rider Strong (Shawn from Boy Meets World).  Eli Roth wrote this movie and is now Executive Producer on the reboot.  The best part is that the studio is using the original script.  Can it even be considered a reboot at this point?

I don't have all the answers.  I might not even have a few of them.  If a studio spends X amount of money on a reboot of RoboCop, it can very well make three movies for that same amount of money.  Three movies with original ideas, a new director, and the same talent we see in the big budget failures?  Chances are these movies will make the same, if not more, than the loss that bottom line saw for the reboot.

Take a chance Hollywood.  Find those new writers, those new scripts, and those new directors.  Sony is taking a chance. (Hollywood Reporter).  Time for those other studios to follow suit.  If not, the box office could be in for another long year...


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