By Brendan Burke, Staff Writer
People all over social media have been deeming 2019 “The Year of the Movies” but we should not be so quick to assume that. If the movie lineup is really examined, we should notice that most of the movies coming out this year are either continuations of previous movie series, or remakes of previous box office hits.
2019 is going to see the release of hit films such as “The Lion King,” “Spider-Man Far From Home,” “Pet Sematary,” and “Toy Story 4.” Die hard fans of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, video games, and the horror genre are getting excited to see their favorite old stories back on the big screen one more time.
Although these movies seem to be all the rage from fans, they are also being protested for lacking one thing, originality. Why are these fans protesting movie companies if they still plan on throwing down $10 to go see these films? The reason is a great feeling that humans apply to everything from movies to the schools they have gone to: nostalgia.
We feel nostalgia when we hear something from our favorite movie or TV show;, for instance, I feel nostalgia when I see Marty McFly racing that DeLorean down the street to send him back to the future.
Like all of the other fans out there, I was outraged to see the movie lineup this year. I would not have been totally been appalled by a “Back to the Future” sequel or another “Die Hard,” but seriously, a remake of “Dumbo,” one of Disney’s worst performing classic movies? However, I kept wondering why I still wanted to see these new remakes and after talking to school psychologist and Film Club sponsor Dr. Jay Kyp-Johnson, I started to see the reason why.
“People don’t want to spend money on a movie with a question mark over it,” said Kyp-Johnson. “They don’t know if they’re gonna walk out angry or pleased, that’s why they like sequels and remakes.”
Kyp-Johnson also said that the human mind does not enjoy taking risks because we prefer certainty over risk taking. For instance, when I go to Portillo’s, I always order a bacon cheeseburger because I know I am going to enjoy it. I am not going to order a hot dog or a roast beef sandwich because there is a very good chance I would not like it.
When I go to the theater this year, of course I am going to walk into “The Lion King” instead of “Dark Phoenix” because I know that I will get my money’s worth from “The Lion King.”
That is why movies such as the live-action remakes of “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast” made over $700 billion in the box office combined whereas the original movie “Get Out” from 2017 made just barely $255 million in the box office.
2019 is not only go to see the release of new remakes but also the release of what I call “comeback sequels.” Comeback sequels are continuations of movie series that have seemed to ended many years ago. Examples of comeback sequels are: “Toy Story 3,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Jurassic World,” and “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.”
“Sequels are what keep people coming to the theaters,” said Kyp-Johnson. “We love seeing our favorite characters continuing their franchise.”
Most movie fans, including myself, will always say that the best of a movie franchise is one of the originals. Most people prefer “Jurassic Park” over “Jurassic World,” and most people prefer one of the original “Star Wars” movies such as “The Empire Strikes Back” or “Return of the Jedi”, not “The Force Awakens.” However, look at the box office totals and all the of answers are right there.
“The Empire Strikes Back” has an audience score almost 10% higher than “The Force Awakens” yet it still became the third highest grossing film of all time, raising $1.5 billion more than “The Empire Strikes Back.” Kyp-Johnson thinks that the reason behind this is because movie companies such as Disney and Pixar are trying to continue these popular franchises into new generations.
“Toy Story 3” raised the most money in the box office out of the two previous “Toy Story” films and some say it is the best “Toy Story” to date. 90s kids grew up with the adventures of Woody and Buzz and as they had to say goodbye to their childhood homes as they went to college in 2010, they had to do the same to their favorite toys once and for all.
Although, 2018 comes around and the Disney-Pixar YouTube channel releases a video titled “Toy Story 4 Official Teaser Trailer” and joy rushed through my body as I came to the realization that I got to see my favorite toys once again, and 16 million views later, most of the world feels the same way.
I have talked to many die hard “Toy Story” fans of the 90s and they have all said the same thing. “Why are they releasing another “Toy Story?” “Toy Story 3” was a perfect end to the franchise!” But when they are asked if they plan to see “Toy Story 4,” their immediate answer is “of course I am!”
When the people who grew up with “Toy Story” saw Andy say goodbye to his toys, they felt like a huge piece of their childhood had come to a close right before they had to go live on their own at college.
These people may have grown up with “Toy Story,” but they aged with Andy. That is why so many people are still excited for the new movie because to be honest, they want to feel like kids again. They need to see what crazy adventure the toys have gotten into now.
Since “Toy Story 3,” most of these 90s kids have gone through college and started to set up mature adult lives and are starting to actually buy houses, cars, and insurance. They have grown up and yet those toys are still coming back on the big screen.
It is bizarre to say they are not going to see the new “Toy Story” because that is like an NFL player not watching the Super Bowl or a politician not watching the inauguration of the president, it would be stupid if they didn’t.
Another thing that I have started to notice when I go to the movie theater is that before the movie begins, they usually have two actors from the film thanking the audience for attending. I noticed this while seeing “The Greatest Showman,” “Incredibles 2,” and “Mary Poppins Returns.”
After doing some research, I came across an L.A. Times article that said 2017 was the worst year for movie theater attendance since 1992. Meaning that movie companies genuinely appreciate when fans go to the theater rather than waiting for the digital release.
With the rise of services like Netflix and Hulu, not many people feel the need to drive to the movies and spend $20 on tickets and concessions to see a movie because everybody says the same thing, “I’ll watch it when I can just rent it.” Movie companies really need to make a movie great to get people to the theater and they do that by thanking the audience and making movies that are either a remake, a sequel, a comeback sequel, or based off a popular video game or book.
These companies need to put all of their ideas towards previous ideas to save movie theater attendance. After all, almost 800 movie theaters have closed in the United States in the past 5 years, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.
Looking at the research of Disney through the years, I noticed that the 2010s was one of greatest years for Walt Disney Studios through movies created and the money they made. Of the 78 Disney movies that have come out in the past eight years, 30 of them were remakes or comeback sequels, that is almost 40% of the movies and the 2010s are not even over.
Also, Mental Floss, an online magazine that writes articles based on internet surveys, compiled a list of the top 15 most anticipated movies of 2019, and of those movies, 11 of them are either remakes, sequels, or based off a video game or TV show, also known as, non-original ideas.
I have to admit, I am looking forward to going to the theater this year to see “The Lion King,” my favorite Disney movie of all time, “Pet Sematary,” one of my favorite Stephen King novels and movies, and “Star Wars Episode XI,” the final installment of one of my favorite movie franchises.
However, I am not looking forward to spending over $10 every time I want to go see one of these movies. The average movie ticket price has increased by $1.50 in the past 10 years, and around here, the price has almost boosted up to $3 more. We are talking close to $13 a ticket, I am going to be paying an over priced amount of $13 for a movie I have seen at least 50 times? Crazy.
When I go to Portillo’s it is an instinct for me to order a bacon cheeseburger with a side of cheese fries;, it is delicious and the same meal I have gotten for almost 6 years. When I saw they were remaking my favorite Disney movie, I said I was going to see it, it was an instinct. Sure I love Portillo’s and “The Lion King,” but nothing will ever beat the first time I had a Portillo’s cheeseburger or the first time I watched “The Lion King” as a little 5 year old. As beloved guitarist Brian May put it so nicely, “There is no way that you can ever really repeat something. I have this great belief that the magic of the moment can never be recaptured.”