Hollywood has a Sequel Problem

hollywood sequel problem

Pamela McClintock via THR: 

Sequel after sequel has disappointed at the box office this year. This weekend’s underpowered opening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is just the latest example. And that is perplexing and alarming Hollywood studios, which are addicted to turning films of all sizes and genres into ongoing franchises, from comedies to the smallest horror films to tentpoles.

And that’s just one of many examples cased in this article, which include Alice Through the Looking GlassThe Huntsman: Winter’s WarRide Along 2Zoolander 2, Divergent Series: Allegiant even Neighbors 2, and more, which all have suffered huge drops in box office against all of Hollywood’s expectations for how sequels should “work.”

In this list alone, I’ve only bothered to review Alice and Allegiant, mostly because interest in these other movies was waning long before I ever went to a screening. When I choose a film to review, I usually go with the one I think people are actually on the fence about checking out and want to discuss afterward. How much does that say about the fact that we don’t even want to talk about some of these sequels?

TMNT is the exception, and it’s a film I would have reviewed if I had seen the first of the series. But even that franchise is a tough sell for me because the Turtles are such lasting pop culture icons with so many iterations that I don’t think my opinion on said movies will do much to sway people or offer some new insight.

“Sequels of late have fallen on rough times. The tried-and-true formulas and familiar characters and themes that are the cornerstone of the modern sequel have acted as a de facto life insurance policy against box-office failure,” says box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “However, 2016 has proven to be a very tough battleground, and the landscape has been littered with a series of sequels that have come up short, and thus call into question the entire notion of the inherent appeal of non-original, franchise-based content.”


4 thoughts on “Hollywood has a Sequel Problem

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this. What I’d add is that with so much good entertainment to pick from out there, a film needs more than familiarity to be a huge moneymaker. It actually needs good word of mouth and reviews because people just won’t take risks at the theater anymore. Not at all like they used to.

  2. I think holloywood has been going with the exact formula in movie making for too long. Funny catch phrases, beautiful people and recycled content won’t cut it with current viewers. With how the world jumping on the DC/MARVEL bandwagon they shouldn’t be surprised everything else is losing ground. The viewing public are bored and tough to please and basing their content on all that plus familiarity in sequels won’t cut it. Even the recent Star Wars, as funny as they made it, was just a movie of funnies and did well only because die hard fans wanted to see it.

  3. I’ve been saying this for forever. Sequels are OK here and there but everything is a damn sequel these days. No ones making movies from original screenplays anymore

Leave a Reply