This summer a lot of emphasis is being put on how many sequels and remakes are bombing at the box office, but really it’s nothing new. Films typically play their course, and so many sequels are made that eventually people start losing interest in them. It’s even more apparent when it’s a franchise that had a gimmick that was unique at first, but really wasn’t all that popular, that studios continually try to push out. The latest of which is the new Men in Black film that was well below expectations this past weekend. The first Men in Black film, from 1997, was unique, but long forgotten and is far from being the top movie on anyone’s list of favourite films. So why continue making them? What could possible be added to the franchise that would make people want to see a new film? Regardless if Chris Hemsworth stars in it or not.
Let’s face it, there are only so many explosions and great special effects you can stomach before you start saying you want more. Case in point, the latest installment of the X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix. The series has become so convoluted that it makes very little sense, even for comic book fans. The series, which began in 2000, has so many plot holes that you can’t even keep track of all of them. People seem to forget that the 2016 X-Men film Apocalypse bombed as well, and with all the rewrites and reshoots, not to mention delays, of Dark Phoenix, it’s not surprising people aren’t turning out to see it. Over all, people seem to be getting sick of the superhero film anyway, especially if it’s a remake. Just take a look at how poorly the Hellboy reboot did earlier this year, and you will clearly see the lack interest. Even the latest installment of Godzilla has failed to find an audience, and that’s because after decades of watching a giant lizard destroy cities and fight other big monsters, how much more do we need to see of the same thing?
The biggest common factor among all the failing sequels is easy to find if you look for it. Quality. Most of them have terrible reviews, and it’s always because they were poorly written. Gone are the days where studios can depend on a film doing well simply because it’s got a particular name attached to it, be it a star, a director or a franchise. Studios also can’t depend on great special effects being enough to get people to come out to the theater either. Back in 1996 a film like Independence Day could do well because effects like the White House blowing up hadn’t been seen before, but nowadays you can see home-made videos made by students showing similar, if not better things. That’s at least part of the reason why the 2016 sequel Resurgence did so poorly, it had nothing new to offer. Hollywood simply put needs to catch up with the times. Show us something we haven’t seen before. Tell us a good story. Don’t just pump films out and hope people will line up to see it just because it once did well. That’s doesn’t work anymore, not with the internet and social media telling us immediately if something is worth our money or not. People are smarter these days, more in touch, and definitely more attached to their money. Give us something to watch, and we will watch it. Continue making garbage, and it will end up where it belongs, in the garbage bin.