Franchise Zombies: Why I’m Tired of all these Franchise Expansions

Have you seen the most recent reboot of that prequel’s sequel? You know, the one that was a remake? If you’re not sure which one I’m talking about, you and me, my friend, have something in common. I’ve got lost in all those sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes as well. By now every movie or TV show known to mankind was repurposed in one way or another. Live long enough and you’ll see your favourite movie or TV show brought back from the dead. Just like all the other undead, these franchise zombies want your BRAINZZZ.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of the fact that art has been repurposed as long as art exists. Remakes, reboots, and franchise expansions of movies and TV shows are as old as these media. However, the quantity and declining quality of these current franchise expansions seems unprecedented. The aim of today’s franchise expansions, it seems, is not anymore based on the desire to enrich the existing story, the aim is to make money. Lot’s and lot’s of money. A while ago, the people over at Comic Book Girl 19 posted an insightful video titled: “The Real Reason behind Hollywood Sequels, Remakes, and Reboots“. I’ll highly suggest you to watch that video and also to subscribe to their channel!

There is nothing wrong with releasing sequels, prequels, reboots, or remakes. The trouble is that far too often, quality seems to be a low priority when making a reboot or remake. It is 2016, do we still need tropes like “the first person to die in a film being a person of colour” (Jurassic World, anyone?), “bitchy career woman” (Also, Jurassic World), or “pitiable disabled person” (Me Before You)!? Is it really too much to ask for movie-makers to start treating  mainstream movies like an artform again?

These days, going to the cinema and watching a reboot or remake is a 50/50-chance that it’ll suck. Who else left the cinema in the last 12 months angrily after having watched a reboot/ remake/ sequel? Add the ever increasing ticket prices and you’ll know why I’m so hesitant to go to the cinema these days. In fact, these days, I can’t bring myself to go to the cinemas more than once a year. Now, there are, of course, still many films released based on an original story or idea. The trouble is, not all cinemas will play them. If you’re living in a small town or rural area, your cinema will most likely only show the big blockbusters. So, trying to support independent films or those with an original idea is not always an option.

The more remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels and so on are released the more I find myself exploring the realm of TV and books. This, of course, is also not helping the overall situation, but then again, what can you do? I’m not too sure where I’m going with this rant, all I know is that many people out there feel like me.

In an attempt to end this post in a positive note, let’s share some recent films based on an original idea! What was the most recent film that blew your mind? It doesn’t have to be a film from Europe or the US.

Let’s try and enrich our horizons with fresh new brainzzz…..uh, I mean films. Let’s share fresh new films!

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12 thoughts on “Franchise Zombies: Why I’m Tired of all these Franchise Expansions

  1. Alice says:

    Despite I enjoyed myself some of those remakes during the last few years (I loved Jurassic Park for example), I agree with you. What mostly drives me crazy is the presence of sequels of everything, from books to movies to infinite seasons of TV series.
    Another thing I hate is that there are so many movies at these days that the small cinemas only keep them for just one week, so I ended up missing tons of great movies that I’ll probably never see since I can’t have Netflix nor a satellite TV.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maria says:

      yesss! As much as I love exploring certain characters and their adventures again and again, it is nice to also have a (good) closure to a story rather than keep going until you run out of good ideas and the movie/tv series/ book series becomes terrible!
      Yes, I also have that trouble with small cinemas! I have to commute for an hour to the nearest big city for a cinema and even there ony one small cinema shows non-blockbuster movies. While it shows it for more than a week, it only shows one movie at a time, so viewers end up missing out on other non-blockbuster movies that come out at the same time. Seriously, watching a movie in cinemas these days is becoming such a hassle!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alice says:

        Exactly! I almost missed to rewatch The Hobbit because even in the main city (Turin) in the biggest cinema they kept it for only 3 weeks. During Christmas. WTF.

        Like

  2. gekitsu says:

    omg, so much truth! i share your tiredness and reluctance to even go to the cinema. (another factor is how hard it is to even get a film screened in english. even for star wars – STAR WARS! – i had to wait for about a week after its premiering, and could then choose from a very limited number of screenings only. in a university city, ffs!)

    but as you said, it’s not even that they are interested in making a film in a certain universe, or one more item in a line – it’s just another by-the-numbers financial enterprise that tries to increase its revenue by tacking on a beloved name. calling them zombies really is the perfect analogy.

    as alice said, there might even be enjoyable experiences in some of them. they did throw a lot of money and skilled work at making a ~2h piece of entertainment, and getting some entertainment out of a proficiently-made film about a franchise we care for isn’t that unheard of. (we all have those lousy ‘part 2’s we know aren’t up to snuff but still like on behalf of how much we liked their ‘part 1’, don’t we?) but to have a film-making climate dominated by that kinda nice feeling of seeing a moderately-good kind of thing, carried mostly by our love for the label they put on it, isn’t rosy. and tickets are too expensive to be a currency for those experiences only.

    you know what i find the most disconcerting about this? that i couldn’t name a recent film to recommend off the top of my head. i had gone to tv (star wars: clone wars and rebels are both surprisingly good) and old films (old hitchcock, kurosawa, etc) instead. i had to go and look through my library. anyway, here are two i quite enjoyed:

    * moon (2009): how is this 7 years old already? a cool retro scifi film that felt like a very fresh breeze straight from the 70s. (so not strictly new-new, but not a zombie)
    * the hunter (2011): also not strictly a new idea, as it’s a film based on a book, but it isn’t a zombie either. willem dafoe gets hired to hunt the last surviving tasmanian tiger. slow but intense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maria says:

      I still need to watch Moon! For some reason I keep forgetting this one. Never heard of The Hunter before, though (even though) but it looks veeeery interesting and is now on my ‘must watch’ list.
      A ‘recent’ movie I’d recommend is What we do in the shadows. Sure, vampire movies are as old as the artform film, but Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement managed to bring fresh blood aka new ideas to an old theme. Easily one of the funniest movies I’ve watched in years! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAZEWtyhpes

      Like

      • gekitsu says:

        and that one is now on my ‘must watch’ list. 🙂 also, when i opened the vampire register card of said list, a near-mummified note to watch ‘let the right one in’ fell out. work shall be put into rectifying this.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lily says:

    I feel much the same way. I guess the problem is that there are SOME that turn out really well, and maybe that spurs on other studios and creators. Everyone thinks there’s will be “one of the good ones.”

    Well, not everyone. You are so right to say that plenty are only in it for the money. And it’s those occasional good ones that keep our hopes up and keep us coming back.

    Right…good original movies! I recently watched the Dutch film “Admiral” and really enjoyed it. And I learned everything I know about the game of cricket from “Lagaan.” There, that’s two to get you started and I’ll keep brainstorming. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maria says:

      haven’t heard of either of those movies, but they look very interesting. Especially Admiral got me interested as soonas I’ve read that Rudger Hauer is in it haha. Just as in my comment for gekitsu, I highly recommend What we do in the shadows!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lily says:

        Oh yes, I’ve been meaning to watch that! Sounds like we both have homework. Let’s report back when we’ve done our assignments! 😉

        Like

  4. kaycreate says:

    I COMPLETELY agree with this. Reboots and remakes are fine, when they are done well. And that really doesn’t seem to be a concern lately. I absolutely loathed Jurassic World, and was so freaking confused as everyone else on the planet seemed to love it. I was like, WHAT?! But I also think that these reboots & remakes make it even harder for original content to get made. Execs see a familiar name and just see dollar signs, whereas an original idea doesn’t have a ‘guaranteed’ audience in their mind. It’s really unfortunate.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. JLakis says:

    Ex Machina (2015) starring Domnhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaacs blew me away. Rather Moon meets Frankenstein. And you’ll be hard pressed to recognize General Hux as the protagonist and Poe Dameron as the dude-brah mad scientist.

    Like

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