Beauty and the Beast, It¸ The Mummy, Star Wars, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mary Poppins; all of these films, all of these series have been rebooted within the last several years or so. Why? Has Hollywood run out of fresh, new ideas? I don’t think so. I mean, just look at the studio A24. They’ve killed it over the last couple of years with films, all original, and most very good. So, I don’t think that there’s a lack of new ideas in Hollywood. I think that there’s a cry and longing for a better time. Let me elaborate.
Currently, the majority of consumers for movies are in their 20s and 30s. We are the ones going to the movie theaters in hordes (https://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MPAA-Theatrical-Market-Statistics-2016_Final-1.pdf) (Gotta site those sources). We are also the ones who are currently trying to work enough to move out of our parents basements, in spite of all the student loan debt that we are drowning in. (For the record, I have moved out of my dad’s house, but am still drowning in student loan debt.) We are stressed. Some of us are able to start a family which, for the most part, is only possible on multiple incomes. We want to get away from the stress of our everyday lives. We want to go back to a time when our country wasn’t on fire and we were all carefree because, well, we were children. And, that is what I think is currently happening.
It started with television. There was a huge online campaign to get Nickelodeon to re-air its ‘90s Nick cartoons. And, eventually, there was so much buzz around this campaign that we now have NickSplat. It only makes sense that this demand shifted to the film industry. Or that Hollywood caught wind of what was happening in the world of television and decided to bring it to the big screen.
Personally, I’m not angry about the amount of reboots that have been occurring. Sure, you may consider a number of them as “not good”. However, contrary to popular belief, a reboot or revamp, not being good does not discredit the quality of the original work (I’m looking at you, 2016 Ghostbusters haters). This recent trend of reboots makes sense from a business stand point. And, as much as we may hate to think so, Hollywood is first and foremost a business. Rebooting the franchises that we 20 and 30 somethings love puts our butts in the seats. Did I think a live action Beauty and the Beast was necessary? No. Did I pay for a ticket and concessions to go and see the film? You bet your ass I did. And I, like many others, will continue to do so. Because, not only are movies a form of escapism, but bringing back the things from our childhoods… well, it just makes that escapism even sweeter.