Is it just me, or is every movie or television idea nowadays based off of something that already exists?
We all know it's true. Every single movie that's overly promoted is what exactly? A sequel, a remake, a reboot, a movie adaptation, take your pick. I can think of three of the summer's most popular movies that have passed the $100 million dollar mark: "Finding Dory;" "Ghostbusters;" and "Suicide Squad." What do they all have in common? For starters, characters we already know. And look at what type of movie all three of them are: "Finding Dory" is a sequel; "Ghostbusters" is a remake; and "Suicide Squad" is based on comic book characters, many of whom have previously been seen in superhero movies.
And this has been true for years now. Just five years ago, if you looked at what was topping the box office charts, you'd find the same thing. Sequels (such as the "Transformers" franchise), remakes (like "Dark Shadows"), and movie adaptions ("The Hunger Games") all the same.
So, what's the problem? Why is it so impossible to come up with a new idea? Isn't there any originality in today's screenwriters? And if there is, why are no original scripts being made?
Well the answer is simple, but it speaks louder than anything: money. The reason why any movie is made today is to bring in money to the studios. And scripts are used as a tool to do just that. With more and more movies being illegally viewed online, movie studios are desperate for ways to get viewers into movie theater seats, especially young viewers. So what do they do? They follow the formula. They make movies that have already been proven to be successful and they find a way to reform it into a new film. You like the old "Star Trek?" Let's make a new one. You like reading "The Lorax?" How about a two-hour version of it? You liked "Magic Mike?" Have some more. Maybe this time in 3D.
And there you have it. Every movie that is made and released today has one thing at its very motivation: income. If a movie or idea made money in the past, chances are, it'll make money again. If there's a character that people like to see, they'll be seeing them in another movie soon (or maybe two). If there's another way to brand it, such as a new setting, new time period or quite simple a new dimension (like being newly released in 3D), chances are it will hit theater screens.
So what do we do about this? How do we get some new ideas? New ideas are out there, the problem is how to get them seen and made into full-length features. Since money is the only thing studios will listen to, the answer is simple: Go see movies with original scripts. Go see independent films. Go see a movie with a unique plot that you've never seen before. If you buy the tickets, they'll give you a show. Prove to the movie studios of today that we want something new, not just more of the same. We want something unique that we've never seen before.
That's what it all comes down to. We movie-goers have the power to do this. And if we don't want to see another "Battleship: The Movie," we better start supporting original ideas really, really soon.