Why is it trendy to remake movies?

   Movie fans have noticed a clear trend emerging in what studios are offering.

  Currently, it has been trendy to produce remakes of former hits in the place of original productions.

  Many past remakes have achieved great or little success, commercially and critically.

  Marvel’s most recent Spiderman remake- “Spiderman: Far from Home” (2020) grossed over 1 billion dollars at the global box office in its first 24 days and Disney’s “Aladdin” remake (2019) surpassed the 1 billion dollar mark. However,  the recent Space Jam remake “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (2021) topped the box office at a lackluster 32 million dollars and only to be panned by critics, receiving only 26 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Its predecessor, a box office smash success that grossed over 230 million dollars, also was not favored by critics, but still favored over the remake.    

 So why make a movie already done before?  

“If movies are successful the first time then there are likely to be remakes or another in the series,” said GBHS Skyler Nichol. 

 Experts say money is also a major motive. 

“(The thought process is) well it made money the first time, let’s do it again,” said John Deaderick, a drama teacher at Sierra College.

 “Hollywood is afraid of risking much more on original materials – remakes have a built-in audience,” added Jamey Fisher, a professor of cinema and digital media at UC Davis. “Now ‘originals’ are more unusual and considered a higher risk for studios, unfortunately,” said Fisher.

 Although remakes may have impressed some fans, many still agree the original and the element of surprise originals bring to theaters just can’t be beat. 

“It’s very hard to remake a film, and make a  good film better the second time,” Deaderick said, adding that many remakes losse the spark that made the original so special.

Most remakes fall far short of the original. They are made because there is a lack of imagination, and there is a desire to avoid risk.

— John Deaderick, drama teacher at Sierra College

For Deaderick this was the case in the 2005 remake, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp. 

“It’s awful, and misses the sweetness of the original, which is a true classic,” Deaderick said.

However Deadrick notes not all remakes are necessarily ill-received by fans and critics.

 Deadrick called The Father ‘‘ and  “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” both “remakes” of stage plays, “refreshingly original.” Both movies are also critically acclaimed— each receiving a 98% Rotten Tomato score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Interestingly both films were more popular among critics than the audience, according to Rotten Tomatoes. 

 More remakes are still to come.  Those highly anticipated include “The Batman,” a Batman remake, is set for a 2022 release and “West Side Story,” a remake of the 1961 original “West Side Story” and  “Spiderman: No Way Home,” are both set for December 2021 releases.