It’s no surprise that major film studios have trick or two under their sleeves when it comes to making money; the cinema industry is a business after all. This becomes an issue when these studios rehash pre-existing bodies of work without offering any fresh, artistic vision.
No trend exemplifies this more than the recent influx of film adaptations that have continued to spew out the mouths of industry titans.
The main result of the remaking and rebooting of old films is a sea of half-assed material that is marketed as an original movie. These half-hearted attempts are something that more often than not offends film-lovers like myself.
One example of this is the recent “Pet Sematary” remake; originally a Stephen King novel, the “Pet Semetary” of 2019 has now become one of two bad film adaptations. Take a guess which is worse? That’s right, the newest film has proved itself to be even more shameful than the original, which wasn’t very good to begin with.
Adapting a popular novel is difficult, especially one with an overwhelming topic and message like “Pet Sematary.”
The story touches on subjects of great interest such as the horrors of humanity’s existence and why people should embrace the circle of life, meaning it is reasonable for a major studio to attempt reinterpret the material, with the caveat that it respects the original work — unfortunately this wasn’t the case.
The characters in the most recent adaptation go down a rabbit hole of reckless decisions without showing prior restraint or reason.
The lackluster characters are accompanied by a lazy mashing of mythological aspects of the film together, causing informed moviegoers to cringe.
While these viewers may then write a scathing review of the movie, studios and producers are able to rack in profits based on audience’s reactions to the knowledge of a re-make rather than the actual quality of the film.
“Pet Sematary” has amassed more than $40 million in the box office, vastly exceeding the $21 million budget it used to create the film. Receiving a profit margin like that over one weekend shows the incentive for studios to follow this business model.
It’s numbers like this that Disney can use as justification everytime they make a live-action remake of their massive catalogue of popular films.
Many of these phenomenal animated films, after being released decades prior, are now returning to movie theaters, but this time, they aren’t animated.
These films are mass-produced at a ridiculous rate, particularly in this decade: “Alice In Wonderland,” 2010; “Maleficent,” 2014; “Cinderella,” 2015; “The Jungle Book,” 2016; “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” 2016; “Beauty and the Beast,” 2017; “Christopher Robin,” 2018; “Dumbo,” 2019; “Aladdin,” 2019; “The Lion King,” 2019; and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” 2019.
This year will be the most exhausting since four of these films will be released this year, with advertisements for “Dumbo” feeling more like a nostalgic trip than an actual cinematic masterpiece.
Most live-action films released in this time haven’t offered anything new to their respective franchises and don’t have any critical acclaim. At the end of the day all these remakes have done is collect money from viewers that love the original films and want to rekindle that love.
The aggressive business model has yielded ideal results for the studio, with all the aforementioned films grossing $1 billion and counting.
I respect the fact that Disney can make this much easy money, it showcases just how powerful of a brand they have become. That being said, I do not respect the obvious cash grabbing that they’re doing with said brand.
Even though voices like mine will continue to disapprove of this bland form of filmmaking, studios will continue to take advantage of this system for as long as they can.