Hit Mute On Reboot

Jack Goulet, Reporter

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In the modern age of cinema, movies come and go every weekend. The movies that succeed and become classics are usually allowed their time in the spotlight, but for a lot of successful movies, studios feel the need to remake them. While some do the originals justice, the idea behind the reboot is a giant cash grab, attaching a big name celebrity to the cast and watching the money roll in. Hollywood hasn’t necessarily run out of ideas, but these reboots need to stop, because they are just warranted.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is slated to release on July 7. Actor Tom Holland will take over the role, as Spidey was last played by Andrew Garfield in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Just to make myself clear right out of the gate, I’m going to classify any movie franchise that is being restarted with a new storyline, perhaps even new characters, or is a long-awaited sequel to a classic movie as being a reboot. There’s a gray area when it comes to “reboot vs. remake,” and so for all intents and purposes, I will call them one in the same.

The main reason why remakes aren’t necessary is that the originals get better reviews. The Magnificent Seven reboot (2016) earned a 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, a well-known film critic site. The original earned a 90 percent, which, by today’s standards, can consider it a good movie. Another 2016 reboot, Ghostbusters earned a 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while its original, produced in 1984, earned a 97. I will give the reboot some credit, as it outscored the 53 percent of Ghostbusters 2 (1989). However, that movie came 5 years later and couldn’t touch the original on pretty much all levels.

Studios are also in it for the money with the attachment of a big name actor. On March 31, the reboot for Ghost in the Shell will make its way to theaters. There is some controversy regarding Scarlett Johansson being cast to play the lead role, as the character has traditionally been Japanese. This leads me to believe that the studio attached Johansson to make more money, rather than honor the original films. We see it with Dwayne Johnson, who will be playing the lead in Jumanji this year, and is also going to star in the Baywatch reboot alongside Zac Efron. These certain stars get put into everything to make certain films major hits.

Going back to Ghostbusters, the original had a budget of $30 million, and ended up making $295.2 million in the box office. It’s 2016 counterpart had a budget of $144 million and made $229.1 million. That’s the problem. If the movie doesn’t live up to the original, it may not even make more than it. Even getting big name stars can’t totally cover up the quality of the film.

So Hollywood keeps rebooting movies, and even though we complain about them, we keep watching. With no signs of slowing down (the dozen plus confirmed movies being remade or rebooted in 2017), Hollywood should take a look at the success of movies like La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea. All of these original films are the ones gaining recognition. They don’t need sequels and they most likely will never get them. Hollywood, if you want to win awards, stop looking for a new guy to play Ferris Bueller or Jack from Titanic and get back to the drawing board. Your audience will appreciate it.