Reboot Culture
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Entertainment

Reboot Culture

What's old is profitable again, mostly

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Reboot Culture
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The entertainment industry recognizes the power of brand recognition, and has been determined to milk every profitable Intellectual Property (IP) dry before it dares take a risk on something new. This is especially true of this decade, in which it's impossible to go to the movie theater and not bump into a sequel, prequel, or reboot of an existing franchise.

It's gotten so bad someone thought rebooting "Jem" would be a good idea, a film that did so poorly it was pulled from theaters after only two weeks. In the span of the last four years, we've seen two "Spider-Man" reboots alone, and it feels like every week DC and Marvel are coming out with some major comic continuity change.

People like experiencing the same tales; this was evident before recognizable properties. Originally, the oral tradition perpetuated this, but written language concertized it through conventions. Certain tales started to share similarities and genres began to form, and those genres developed conventions that dictated the audience's expectations. After thousands of years of creation, scholars have boiled down narratives to seven basic tales: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, The Comedy, The Tragedy, and Rebirth.

So even if they were under different names, the same seven tales have always endured, endlessly recycled and added upon.

What Reboot culture does is take this a step further. Every piece of art in a franchise is usually a retelling of one of these seven tales. However, due to the need for brand cohesion, a new entry in a series is limited by not only genre conventions of the time, but conventions of that given franchise. This limits the amount of "new stuff" these pieces of art can bring to these seven tales.

The result: not enough innovation in public art has led to reboot fatigue. Not every well-known franchise needs a sequel, prequel, or reboot, and the general public is slowly waking up to that with the failure of "Jem," the rebooted "Total Recall" and "RoboCop," and the public outcry towards the 2016 "Ghostbusters" movie.

Franchises will always exist, but when virtually every movie that comes out is tied to a recognizable name, it limits innovation in the art form that can dishearten viewers.

And franchise movies are not always a guaranteed success.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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