Open Forum Friday: Are Studios Too Focused on Building Franchises Instead of Making Good Standalone Films?
At this point we’ve heard plenty of bitching and moaning over all the remakes coming out of Hollywood as of late, and perhaps justifiably so. You can’t show up at your local multiplex anymore without thinking you may have been accidentally transported back to the ’80s. But it all ties into a bigger issue in the entertainment industry that has to do with the power of establishing brands and building franchises. Movie fans have proven time and again that when they enjoy a particular movie, they immediately want more of it. Studio execs have responded by choosing to greenlight primarily movies that could potentially yield sequels, and in many cases, by planning for a trilogy right off the bat. On the one hand, you can’t blame them… but on the other hand, are the movies themselves suffering because of it?
One of the results is that we get storylines that carry over from movie to movie but do not deliver a satisfying conclusion in and of themselves (Prometheus and The Amazing Spider-Man being a couple of recent examples). We also get sequels shoehorned in where they were never intended and properties that outlive their original cast and creative team (ie. a Bourne movie that does not have Jason Bourne in it). Perhaps most importantly, it means that self-contained stories with definitive conclusions are much harder to get made. What do you think? Does every successful movie deserve a sequel? Is it a good thing that feature films are becoming serialized like TV shows? Is corporate greed to blame or are fans just feeding into the phenomenon? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.