Season Of The Sequel

Remakes, reboots and re-imaginings: America’s appetite for regurgitated cinema seems insatiable right now. This year (according to a Box Office Mojo report) there will be over 25 sequels in theatres, an all time high, and that’s NOT counting remakes and reboots. Eek.

I would like to think American wouldn’t put up with the cheap rehashing of once-popular flicks. But Hollywood’s obsession with sequels and reboots proves there is still a market for them. In other words, people are still plunking down good money to see (usually) inferior sequels. It’s hard to live in a world where Big Momma’s House 3 still has an audience.

I understand the interest in discovering/building franchises. A studio has a built in meal-ticket with a franchise and all the related marketing. In this economic environment, the sure-thing film is like the cinematic holy grail. As for remakes, I’m not altogether against a good remake. Given enough decades, and done right, a remake or reboot can revitalize a beloved film. Sometimes the fresh look and modernization can be a nice change, as honored film classics are revisited and great concepts are given a face-lift. Of course, the flip side is when great cult classics are taken and butchered in the name of a revamp. Original ideas and creative endeavors are becoming rarer than a non cosmetically-altered celebrity.

That being said, here’s a breakdown of sequels coming this year alone. First, we have the sequels (part twos): Cars 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, The Hangover Part II, Happy Feet 2, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Johnny English Reborn, Kung Fu Panda 2, Piranha 3DD, and Sherlock Holmes 2.

Then, we have the part threes: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Paranormal Activity 3 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Now it gets interesting; the part fours and beyond (and yes, there is even a part eight coming): Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Scream 4, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One).

For fifth installments we have Fast Five, Final Destination 5, Puss in Boots, X-Men: First Class, and Winnie the Pooh. Now there are technically two part sevens in The Muppets, and Planet of the Apes sequel Rise of the Apes. And there is an eighth movie sequel in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.

And the above list doesn’t even mention remakes, of which I can name at least a dozen coming up in the next year, including Fright Night, Jane Eyre, An American Werewolf In London, Beastly, Arthur, Conan, Monster Squad (cult 80s horror/comedy classic, this remake is not only totally unnecessary, it‘s a travesty), and Flight of the Navigator.

This trend worries me. With even more sequels/prequels and remakes slated for next year, when will it end?