The Death of Original Movies

A Movie Theater
A Movie Theater

Nowadays, when you think of the greatest movies that have recently come out, you would probably think of Dune, Furiosa, Fast X, and many more. However, all these great movies have one thing in common—we have seen them numerous times already. Dune is based on the 1984 movie, which is based on the books; Furiosa is a continuation of the 2015 film; and Fast X is an end to one of the greatest movie franchises that first came out in 2001.

Personally, I am excited about the new movies Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, Twisters, and Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 2. I am not saying people don’t know how to make good movies anymore because I am confident all these films will be massive hits. However, they’re nothing we haven’t seen before. There are so many movies these days that writers are running out of ideas. To avoid being redundant, people have moved on to making movies about movies, such as The Fall Guy, which was a massive flop.

Just because we have amazing technological developments that can make any director’s dreams come true doesn’t mean we aren’t happy with the original movies. Back then, great action movies were amazing not because of their fighting sequences but because of rich and beautiful scripts. However, now most action movies are all fighting and barely any dialogue, as evidenced by the John Wick series.

“Movie directors and writers often have limited artistic freedom because large movie companies want to avoid taking investment risks,” an article in CityNews states. Producers are so scared to branch out and create new narratives that they would rather stick to old, worn-out stories. Producers would rather stick to the same stories to ensure good profits; however, they won’t take risks to make even larger sums of money.

For those who are thinking about the dozens of rom-coms that come out each year that are technically original, I am here to tell you that they are not. I am sick of seeing the enemies-to-lovers story and the pretend-to-date couple who ends up falling in love. Yes, they have new characters and stories, but they’re not introducing any new ideas. They’re always so predictable; what happened to all of the 2000s rom-coms that people still consider classics, such as Mean Girls, and She’s All That, which, by the way, both got two disastrous remakes very recently.

On Hot Ones, a YouTube channel that interviews celebrities while they feast on hot wings, Matt Damon answered the question of why he thinks movies aren’t as good as they used to be: “The DVD was a huge part of the business of our revenue stream,” he said. He further explained that back in the 1990s and early 2000s, if a movie wasn’t guaranteed to make a big profit, then the studio could still make money off DVD sales. However, now that technology is advanced and people don’t buy DVDs anymore, doing great at the box office is the best way to make money. There are, of course, streaming services, where users pay for a subscription, yet “theatrical films tend to have higher viewership in their streaming window than films that go straight-to-streaming,” according to Entertainment Strategy Guy. “Ironically, a lot of the films Matt Damon built his career on are the kind that are now considered “too risky,” which is why we’re not getting so many films like Good Will Hunting, Dogma, and The Talented Mr. Ripley anymore,” according to The Screen Room.

When one thinks about all of the new, successful movies, there usually aren’t any members of the cast who aren’t superstars. “It is now unheard of an original movie not backed by a major director or star being financed by any of the big studios,” an article in Wion reported. Now, instead of movies transforming unknown actors into A-listers, studios rely on big names to promote the movie. It’s as though studios know their movie isn’t amazing, so they fill every scene with an actor who already has millions of fans. Take The Fall Guy, for example. The studio managed to squeeze in Jason Mamoa for a five-second cameo at the end. Did this make the movie more enjoyable? Yes, but only due to the fact that people already like Jason Mamoa, not because the movie was good.

In essence, producers are spending millions of dollars on action-packed scenes, scarce dialogue, and A-list stars to ensure their films are financial successes, but these movies haven’t been successful in a while. The people want ideas that they have never seen before, and they don’t mind if there isn’t a Tom Cruise or a Dwayne Johnson in the movie.

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About the Contributor
Gili Shoval
Gili Shoval, Staff Writer
Gili Shoval ('27) is enrolled in Journalism this year, and she's excited to write for The Echo.