Hollywood-Sign

Is Hollywood Running Out of Ideas?

Welcome to the age of remakes, sequels, prequels, remakes of sequels, reboots, tributes and based ons. Feeling Déjà vu already? Don’t worry, you will…


At the end of the day, the mainstream movie industry is exactly that, an industry. This means its priority is to make products and then make money from those products.

Increasingly, it seems the easy way to make sick stacks of cash is to create reboots, sequels or adaptations of previously successful stories. For example of the 10 most successful movies this year, only one, San Andreas, can be considered ‘original’ – although a massive earthquake destroying California is hardly the craziest idea of a movie we’ve ever heard. 

Uproxx decided to investigate this phenomenon by taking a look at top grossing movies of every year since 1990, and then categorizing them as either ‘Original’ or ‘Adaptation/Remake/Sequel’. However, demarcating movies into such strict categories isn’t always simple, so the following notes were provided:

 
Some notes: I counted all the James Bond movies as Adaptation/Remake/Sequel, because even though Skyfall told a new story, it’s still the 23rd film in a series that’s based on a book character. But the first Pirates of the Caribbean is Original (it’s not as if the Disney ride has a plot), as is The LEGO Movie. Films based on real-life events were evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Titanic is Original because the story isn’t lifted from a specific book, unlike Adaptation/ Schindler’s List, which is. (Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is somewhere in the middle.) It’s a judgment call. Now let’s solve Hollywood.

 

1990

OriginalHome AloneGhostPretty WomanKindergarten Cop
Adaptation/Remake/SequelDances with WolvesTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe Hunt for Red OctoberTotal RecallDie Hard 2: Die HarderDick Tracy

RealBigHits_Home Alone

Twentieth Century Fox

1991

OriginalCity Slickers
Adaptation/Remake/SequelTerminator 2: Judgment DayRobin Hood: Prince of Thieves,Beauty and the BeastThe Silence of the LambsHookThe Addams FamilySleeping with the EnemyFather of the BrideThe Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear
RealBigHits_city slickers

Columbia Pictures

1992

OriginalSister ActThe BodyguardBasic InstinctA League of Their Own
Adaptation/Remake/SequelAladdinHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkBatman ReturnsLethal Weapon 3A Few Good MenWayne’s World
RealBigHits_basic-instinct

TriStar Pictures

1993

OriginalSleepless in SeattleIn the Line of FireCliffhanger
Adaptation/Remake/SequelJurassic ParkMrs. DoubtfireThe FugitiveThe FirmIndecent ProposalThe Pelican BriefSchindler’s List
RealBigHits_Sleepless in Seattle

TriStar Pictures

1994

OriginalThe Lion KingThe Santa ClauseDumb and DumberSpeedPulp Fiction 

Adaptation/Remake/SequelForrest GumpTrue LiesThe FlintstonesClear and Present DangerThe Mask

Twentieth Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox

1995

OriginalToy StorySe7en
Adaptation/Remake/SequelBatman ForeverApollo 13PocahontasAce Ventura: When Nature CallsGoldenEyeJumanjiCasperDie Hard: With a Vengeance
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

1996

OriginalIndependence DayTwisterJerry MaguireThe Rock
Adaptation/Remake/SequelMission: ImpossibleRansom101 DalmatiansThe Nutty ProfessorThe BirdcageA Time to Kill
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

1997

OriginalTitanicLiar LiarAir Force OneAs Good as It GetsGood Will HuntingMy Best Friend’s WeddingFace/Off
Adaptation/Remake/SequelMen in BlackThe Lost WorldTomorrow Never Dies
©20th Century Fox Film Corp.

©20th Century Fox Film Corp.

1998

OriginalSaving Private RyanArmageddonThere’s Something About MaryA Bug’s LifeThe WaterboyRush HourDeep Impact
Adaptation/Remake/SequelDoctor DolittleGodzillaPatch Adams
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation 

1999

OriginalThe Sixth SenseThe MatrixBig DaddyRunaway BrideThe Blair Witch Project
Adaptation/Remake/SequelStar Wars: Episode I – The Phantom MenaceToy Story 2Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeTarzanThe Mummy

Haxan Films

Haxan Films

2000

OriginalCast AwayGladiatorWhat Women WantScary MovieWhat Lies Beneath
Adaptation/Remake/SequelHow the Grinch Stole ChristmasMeet the ParentsMission: Impossible IIThe Perfect StormX-Men
DreamWorks SKG

DreamWorks SKG

2001

OriginalMonsters, Inc.Pearl Harbor
Adaptation/Remake/SequelHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneJurassic Park IIIThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Mummy ReturnsOcean’s ElevenPlanet of the ApesRush Hour 2Shrek
Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios

2002

OriginalMy Big Fat Greek WeddingSigns
Adaptation/Remake/SequelAustin Powers in GoldmemberChicagoHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsIce AgeThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersMen in Black IISpider-ManStar Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Gold Circle Films

Gold Circle Films

2003

OriginalBruce AlmightyElfFinding NemoPirates of the Caribbean
Adaptation/Remake/SequelCheaper by the DozenThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingThe Matrix ReloadedThe Matrix RevolutionsTerminator 3: Rise of the MachinesX2
New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

2004

OriginalThe Day After TomorrowThe IncrediblesNational Treasure
Adaptation/Remake/SequelThe Bourne SupremacyHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,The Passion of the ChristMeet the FockersThe Polar ExpressShrek 2Spider-Man 2
Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios

2005

OriginalMadagascarMr. & Mrs. SmithWedding Crashers
Adaptation/Remake/SequelBatman BeginsCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireKing Kong,Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the SithWar of the Worlds
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

2006

OriginalCarsHappy Feet
Adaptation/Remake/SequelCasino RoyaleThe Da Vinci CodeIce Age: The MeltdownNight at the MuseumPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestThe Pursuit of Happyness,Superman ReturnsX-Men: The Last Stand
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

2007

Original: none
Adaptation/Remake/Sequel300Alvin and the ChipmunksThe Bourne UltimatumHarry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixI Am LegendNational Treasure: Book of SecretsPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndShrek the ThirdSpider-Man 3Transformers
 

2008

OriginalHancockKung Fu PandaWALL-E
Adaptation/Remake/SequelThe Dark KnightDr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullIron ManMadagascar: Escape 2 AfricaQuantum of SolaceTwilight
Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

2009

OriginalAvatarUpThe Hangover
Adaptation/Remake/SequelTransformers: Revenge of the FallenHarry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceThe Twilight Saga: New MoonStar TrekThe Blind SideAlvin and the Chipmunks: The SqueakquelSherlock Holmes
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

2010

OriginalInceptionDespicable Me
Adaptation/Remake/SequelToy Story 3Alice in WonderlandIron Man 2The Twilight Saga: EclipseHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1Shrek Forever AfterHow to Train Your DragonTangled
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

2011

Original: None
Adaptation/Remake/SequelHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2Transformers: Dark of the MoonThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1The Hangover Part IIPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesFast FiveMission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolCars 2Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsThor
 

2012

OriginalBraveTed
Adaptation/Remake/SequelMarvel’s The AvengersThe Dark Knight RisesThe Hunger GamesSkyfallThe Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2,The Amazing Spider-ManMadagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios

2013

OriginalGravity
Adaptation/Remake/SequelThe Hunger Games: Catching FireIron Man 3FrozenDespicable Me 2Man of SteelMonsters UniversityThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugFast & Furious 6,Oz the Great and Powerful
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

2014

OriginalThe LEGO Movie
Adaptation/Remake/SequelAmerican SniperThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,Guardians of the GalaxyCaptain America: The Winter SoldierThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionMaleficentX-Men: Days of Future PastBig Hero 6
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.


So, what did we learn? Of the 100 highest grossers in the 1990s, 42 are Original; for the 2000s, 27; midway through the 2010s, six. Really, the only original, super-successful movies being made now are animated, and even they’re dipping into sequels. Pray that Inside Out makes ALL the money this weekend. The box office is dominated by sequels in particular, and while that’s not always a bad thing, like Furious 7, it’s taking away opportunities for something new, something like The Bodyguard…OK, maybe new movies aren’t always better than part twos and remakes.
Though if today’s films want to start having snappier titles, and not The Hunger Games Episode III: Deathly Hallows and the New Age of Moon, that would be nice.

*Article by Uproxx & Movie Pilot

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