Is there really a lack of originality these days?

In a year which seems to be packed to the hilt with sequels or remakes, you often see and hear people bemoan the lack of originality these days. They will cry out that, “Hollywood has run out of ideas!” But is this true? Are there genuinely no original ideas these days, or are we just so dazzled by the hype for Star Trek 27: The Search For A Script that we overlook the new concepts?

Quite clearly there are original ideas and concepts put to film each year, that goes without saying. Take a look at 2014, and films such as Grand Budapest Hotel, and even Edge of Tomorrow. In fact, if you add up all the sequels and reboots each year they will not even dent the number of new films that come out. So why does it seem that every film being released is a sequel or reboot?

Well, that’s all because of two things.

1: The franchise films and reboot get a lot more marketing to get the already bought in fans salivating at the idea of more.
2: Audiences flock to them more than new ideas. This means less marketing on the new idea as it is harder to guarantee a return.

Simply put, the general audience dictate what we will have shoved down our throats each year, and they seem to prefer a safe option of a film they know what to expect over a risky choice that they have no experience with. This is, to some degree, understandable. Why spend over £10 for a ticket to something you are unsure of, when you know that Fast and Furious 14 will have cars and stunts and explosions (and who doesn’t love mindless action?) Inevitably this leads to people seeing the newer idea films a year or so later and pondering why they didn’t go and see it at the cinema. It is also why films such as Source Code, Looper, etc, whilst being really good films with great underlying concepts, never end up breaking any box office figures.

So, remember this coming year, whilst you are plodding off to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Mission Impossible 6, to also have a quick glance at the other films on offer, and make a pledge here and now to check at least one of them out each month. You will soon find that sequels and reboots aren’t the only things released, they just make the most noise.


4 thoughts on “Is there really a lack of originality these days?

    • TV has now taken over the coveted water cooler spot, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the lines between TV and movies in terms of quality have blurred so much.

      • Indeed, particularly as lots of movie stars have flocked to TV land. But what of TV programming and lack of originality these days?! That’s a whole ‘nother argument in itself.

        But, there’s no really good reason WHY movies shouldn’t be water cooler as well today and regularly. Remember the huge debate / stir over Demi Moore and being sold by her hubby for $1m for one night? (Can’t remember the title). ’50 Shades Of Gray’ is really trying to get that buzz going with the endless teasers but it worked for the book more. That’s the closest I can think of top of the head for recent water cooler.
        ’20 Years A Slave?’ That had buzz. Can’t remember if it was for the film or the Oscar win though….Anyhoo…

  1. Yeah, TV originality, just as with movies, is there to find, but usually lost amongst the publicity for the next medical/police drama or reality show. Thankfully we have HBO, and the streaming services of Netflix and Amazon who seem willing to back fresh ideas (and, to a lesser degree, Showtime).

    Don’t get me started on unnecessary returns to shows that were cancelled for a reason years back. The recent 24 season bored me to tears by episode 3, and who cares if Heroes is back soon? Did anyone even bother sticking around for the last season?

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