Hollywood’s latest reboot trend reflects different business model

Noah Levine

Yes, this has definitely been done before.

Recently, Hollywood has witnessed an onslaught of reboots, remakes, sequels and franchise revivals. Within the last couple of months, we’ve seen reboots of “Suspiria,” “Halloween,” “A Star Is Born” and “Star Wars” just to name a few. On top of this, franchises such as “Jurassic World” and “Creed” continue to work and prosper off of material introduced by classic films — “Jurassic Park” and “Rocky,” respectively. 

With so many creative minds working in the industry, audiences may wonder why Hollywood prefers to showcase old ideas. It is becoming increasingly difficult for small indie films to see the light of day as studios prioritize large money-makers. Radio-television-film professor Kathy Fuller-Seeley explained the reasoning behind this business model. 

“(The studios) claim that a remake or reboot is more likely to have people go see it rather than some new story you have never heard before,” Fuller-Seeley said. “The giant conglomerates are now much less likely to take a gamble on your strange story or quirky little indie film because they are making so much more money with their tired old story in Part 23.”

While many of these endless reboots and sequels may appear to be complete money grabs, there is an art to upholding a long-running franchise. While a reboot such as “Halloween” might seem like a cash grab at first, it ended up garnering an impressive $76.225 million over its opening weekend, according to Forbes, and a 78 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Viewers hold varying opinions on what makes or breaks a reboot. A reboot can take on a different style or theme than the original if made by a unique director. Radio-television-film freshman Jett Richards said movie-makers should aim to add something to the original story. 

“Unfortunately, we live in a reboot culture of quick cash grabs. Less originality, more profitability,” Richards said. “Instead of rebooting these stories, I think we should be building on them instead. However, it’s important that audiences are willing to embrace new stories.”

Nowadays, it appears that everything from classic horror franchises to intense boxing epics are getting the reboot treatment. John James Hickey, a writer, director and filmmaking counselor from Los Angeles, said making a successful reboot is more complicated than it may seem. 

“I think it comes down to one word: relevance,” Hickey said. “If the movie’s theme speaks to a more contemporary audience, then the movie is deserving of a remake or reboot. Just because the original was successful doesn’t mean you can capture lightning in a jar and recreate that success.”