Hollywood’s Sequel Syndrome

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Photo courtesy of imbd.com

Photo courtesy of imbd.com

Moviegoers everywhere are hurrying to the theaters to see Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One and are eagerly anticipating The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Not me. And judging by the numbers, I’m not the only one.

Mockingjay debuted with an impressive 121 million at the box office. Nothing to scoff at, and most movies can only dream of such financial success. Take a second look, however, and you’ll notice that the previous installment in the Hunger Games franchise made an astounding 158 million on opening weekend. And the bad news doesn’t stop there. The movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes, has Mockingjay at a shaky 66 percent, compared with Catching Fire’s extremely strong 89 percent. Not only are people less willing to shell out money for the most recent flick, but they’re coming out less satisfied when they do.

Why the drop off, you ask? Let’s be honest with ourselves. Hollywood is losing its touch. Rather than focus on delivering high quality movies, production companies across the industry are increasingly prone to chopping up movies into two and three pieces just to make some extra dough, and audiences are sick of it.

Creative juices are running low, and the evidence is sprawled all across our theater screens. Mockingjay, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Twilight… everywhere you turn, greedy businessman elect to chop up the films we love in favor of turning an extra profit, and in the end, it’s the fans who are losing out.

Not only do we see movies getting split into multiple parts just for the sake of the almighty dollar, we can’t seem to find any directors or writers who can produce an original film! Sequels and remakes have saturated the movie industry as of late, and while superheroes and sequels dominate release calendars, the discontent audiences feel continues to show up in the box office.

Headed into December, the average movie for 2014 makes 2.4 million dollars less than the average 2013 movie, and nearly 3 million less than that of a flick released in 2012, per BoxOfficeMojo.com.

Audiences crave that which makes movies magical. Substance, creativity, originality…and unfortunately the three-part movie, sequel prone Hollywood is starving us of just that.

So while many will show up in droves to the watered down, regurgitated film-making we are becoming so accustomed to, the falling numbers give us hope that Hollywood will soon wake up and realize that this isn’t what we yearn for as cinema fans. The movie world needs more Clint Eastwood, more Christopher Nolan, more originality. Here’s hoping we’ll get it.

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