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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration


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2016 has shown Hollywood is running out of ideas

Photo Credit: DeAndre Oglesby
Hollywood is overflowing with trash and recycled ideas.

Movies have been around for over a century. And within that time, Hollywood has given us classic films like Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, and Jaws. However, has 2016 shown that Hollywood has run out of ideas?

If you take a look at all the movies that came out last year, you’ll notice a trend. The majority of movies that were released were either a reboot, a remake, a sequel, a prequel, is based off a book or based off of a true story. Some prominent examples of this are Allegiant; a book adaptation, Ghostbusters; a remake, Finding Dory; a sequel, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; a prequel, The Legend of Tarzan; a reboot, and Jackie; based off of a true story. Furthermore, there has been an oversaturation of superhero movies since 2008. In fact,

Furthermore, there has been an oversaturation of superhero movies since 2008. In 2016 alone there were six superhero movies. In 2017, we’ll be receiving seven more of these from both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros!

Probably the most surprising fact is that people who work in Hollywood are fully aware of this. In the opening song of the 2015 Oscar Awards, Jack Black sang a part that pointed out this lack of original content, “Now it’s market trends…Opening with lots of zeroes, all we get is superheroes. Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Jedi man, sequel man, prequel man. Formulaic scripts…” So the one million dollar question is, why aren’t we getting anything original?

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Imagine being the CEO of a major film studio like 20th Century FOX. Now ask yourself this question, what is your main focus as CEO? Obviously, it’s to make money by investing in certain films. Now ask yourself another question, what is the safer investment, an already established idea or something completely new? If said the first option, you have your answer.

Hollywood producers don’t care whether a film is bad or unoriginal. In their eyes, the whole purpose behind a movie is to rake in money. In addition, they want their product to be memorable and to gain publicity. Coming up with a new idea for a movie is difficult and is harder to market to the general public. This is because if you have something that’s completely new, people less likely to remember it. Years ago this would’ve been easier because movies were relatively new. But nowadays, we’ve seen everything.

On the other hand, if you were to advertise an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, an already well known and established franchise, more people are likely to remember and see it, in spite of how bad the movies may be. That’s not to say that there aren’t any original films that are box office successes. Moana is surely going to be a Disney classic, Arrival was a thought-provoking masterpiece, and Split seems like a pretty good M Night Shyamalan movie (something I thought I’d never say). However, gems like these are far and few. So taking the easier way out is a better option.

Moreover, the owners of the properties that the movie is based on make a truckload of money. The Alvin and the Chipmunks movies have tons of TV shows, merchandise, and DVDs under its belt. So in short, not being original is better when you think about it financially. But, there is a silver lining. Films based off of already well-known franchises might have more love put into making them.

Captain America: Civil War and all the other Marvel movies are good examples of adaptations done right. The team that works on these films legitimately care about the story they’re telling. In fact, I might even say they have a burning passion for Marvel Comics. This is the reason why DC movies like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice have been doing so poorly with critics. Warner Bros. just doesn’t care whether their films are bad or not. They figure people will watch it anyway because Batman and the Superman are on screen.

But you can’t just blame the people that make the movies. The general public is also at fault. If you take a look at the Rotten Tomatoes page for Suicide Squad, you’ll see that 64% of audiences love it, despite all the poor reviews it’s been getting. This is due to the fact that most people don’t look at a film with an analytical mindset. The majority of the general public will just watch a movie, munch on popcorn, go on their phone, share a laugh with friends, and barely even pay attention to what’s actually happening on screen. So they tend to miss all the flaws that a movie may have, and just give it a good score on Rotten Tomatoes.

In order for movies to get better and more original, people to need to demand more original content instead of just settling on the recycled trash we’ve been getting. If you ask for garbage, you will receive; and that’s what’s been happening for the past decade or two.

Another option could be to watch more movies made by indie studios. Indie films are less likely to be formulaic and filled with recycled ideas because they’re not as big as other studios who are constantly competing with other big movie studios. So they usually have more creative freedom. Or maybe, in the end, we can all just accept that Hollywood is going through a phase, and like old western movies, the unoriginals will just fade out of existence. Because as Orphan Annie once said, “The sun ‘ll come out tomorrow.”

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About the Contributor
DeAndre Oglesby
DeAndre Oglesby, Senior Editor
DeAndre Oglesby is a 17-year-old from Colonia New Jersey. He was born on December 7, 2000 at JFK Hospital. His nationality is African Bajan American (his mother is from the island of Barbados). Oglesby is the youngest of four children. He has two sisters and one brother. Currently, he is a senior at Colonia High School. Oglesby is quite active at school. Some of the clubs that he's in are newspaper club, LGBT club, SLAC, Anime, and many more. A few of his favorite hobbies are art, photography, poetry, writing, and YouTube. Oglesby identifies as nonbinary, and wants to change his name legally to Andie J. Lewis after high school. One of his biggest dreams is to open a school for children who are more gifted in the arts rather than academics.

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2016 has shown Hollywood is running out of ideas