Success and Money over Creativity?

Have you ever noticed patterns in the types of films being made? Twilight comes out, and all of a sudden there are a million vampire movies that follow. After Hunger Games came a bunch of teen dystopian films based on novels. According to Wasko, “around 50% of Hollywood films are adaptions” (44). At first that surprised me, I didn’t know that the percentage was so high. But as I thought of me it surprised me that the percentage wasn’t higher, thinking back on all the films I had seen in theatres in the past few years. But looking at how films are financed adaptations to books seems like the smartest option when it comes to a marketing standpoint. As Wasko points out, “there are economic factors that contribute to this ongoing reliance on recycled ideas, already proven stories, and movie remakes and sequels” (44). Think about all the blockbuster films aka films that have had large commercial success. Production companies have taken popular novels and turned them into huge productions. These novels often have huge fan bases often making ticket sales guaranteed. Also taking book series like Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Divergent, production companies can create a series of large grossing films. The problem with this tactic is that many of these movies often come with dedicated fans. This can sometimes lead to the make or break of these productions, which can be disastrous especially when it comes to multi film series productions. If fans do not like the adaptation of the first book, anticipation for the sequel can be threatened. It is tactics like these that production companies are using today in order to create big selling films. In 2015, most of the films on the top ten list of highest grossing films were either sequels, remakes, or films based on books such as Jurassic World, Fast and Furious 7, Cinderella and Fifty Shades of Grey. Wasko points out, “the industry also tries to eliminate this uncertainty in various ways- by focusing on blockbusters featuring well-known starts and/or by basing films on already recognizable stories and characters” (61). It seems like making an adaptation of a sequel is the best option for commercial success, but what is that doing to original creativity?

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