“At first, you might think box office numbers are down because of all these unoriginal films. But that’s actually backwards. In fact, unoriginal movies are being made BECAUSE numbers are down. Let me explain:
Hollywood filmmaking is an investment business—studios give money to filmmakers hoping to make more money back. Now put yourself in the shoes of an investor. When times are good, you have extra cash flowing in, and you can invest in riskier investments where many fail but a few hit big.
But when times are tight, one failed investment can sink you, so you’re more inclined to turn to safer investments. And in movies, the safest investment you can make is in either a sequel or a story built from an existing franchise with a large fan base. In other words, making a sequel is Hollywood’s way of playing it safe. Because right now, original stories are just too risky.”
Excerpted from Has Hollywood Lost its Way? | Short of the Week.