Fans have been saying it for years: Hollywood is becoming too dependent on sequels, spinoffs and remakes. Now, the people Hollywood looks to for advice on trends are saying it too.
Deadline reports financial analyst Vasily Karasyov has released a report that states films based on previous intellectual properties “present [a] growing risk to film industry profitability.”
“The nature of any IP re-exploitation cycle (be it DVD, CDs, iTunes or superheroes) is such that despite how long it lasts, it ultimately fades,” Karasyov writes.
According to Karasyov, Hollywood is “at the tail end of the process” when it comes to mining their most valuable and recognizable assets. He believes they’ve now moved onto much lesser properties, and the results are showing.
Obviously he’s right. It’s something not only fans have been noticing; no less an industry expert than Steven Spielberg said he felt superhero films would go the way of the Western. All trends have their time in the sun, and then fade.
However, here’s the counter point. In 2011, this same gentleman said Hollywood should prepare for “The Death of Superheroes.” How’s that going? Sure it’ll come eventually but that was four years ago. Plus, his examples for this most recent statement, frankly, aren’t that great either. At least the ones Deadline uses.
He cites Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, both of those grossed less than The Avengers but they were obvious risks and each was way more successful than most anticipated. Then he looks at the recent Spider-Man films: Spider-Man 2 and 3, and then last year’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sure those films show a decline (if not in box office, in terms of tickets sold) but the timing of those was ridiculous (only five years between the third film and an unrelated, rebooted version) and quality was an issue.
So again, it would be great if Hollywood took notice of this and started developing a lot more original content. It certainly worked this year with Inside Out, San Andreas, Straight Outta Compton and a few others. But at the same time, until a film like Avengers: Age of Ultron or Jurassic World truly tanks, this isn’t going to change. I mean - have you see the international box office returns on Terminator Genisys? It’s done over $350 million and counting.
A shift may be coming, but it’s going to be a while.
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