saturation [n]: the act or result of supplying so much of something that no more is wanted.

–courtesy of Merriam Webster Online

Lately Hollywood is all about the franchises. Disney announced recently that they are making a Frozen 2, that they’ve set release dates for a Star Wars spin-off and Episode VIII, and for some reason they’re doing a live-action Dumbo remake. Sony recently announced that alongside the new female-led Ghostbusters reboot they’re making a male led one as well to even things out (because three male-led films vs. one female-led one is true equality), plus a production company to come up with all sorts of Ghostbusters-related stuff, and a Zoolander 2 is on its way as well.

Look, I’m looking forward to some of these sequels and prequels and remakes and reboots and spin-offs and franchises. Try and keep me away from the Poltergeist remake, the new Star Wars episode, and a few other upcoming films. However, I think that all this emphasis on creating major film series and franchises is actually working against Hollywood rather than helping it. I know that place is run by money primarily, with the idea of making memories and memorable films being a far second, and all these mega-franchises has everyone wanting to have their own moneymaker. But to pursue all that without investing in new material, to me anyway, is not smart business practice.

Not that there haven’t been original films this year. Seventh Son, Jupiter Ascending, and Chappie all are original films (one’s based on a novel, but whatever), so studios aren’t totally ignoring original ideas. However, the former two were panned and didn’t do well at the box office, while the latter…well, it did well at the box office, but the critics don’t seem to like it. I didn’t either. And that isn’t good, because it might make movie studios more wary about greenlighting new projects.

Does this seem a little excessive to you?

This means more superhero movies, more film series and franchise, more reboots and remakes and God only knows what else. And that’s likely to continue. The question is, how long will it continue? Marvel and DC have films scheduled through 2019 and 2020 respectively, but will we feel like watching them by that time? Will we feel like we’ve seen these films so many times that it takes something rare to make us enjoy the film, like it is for so many horror fans today? Are we going to reach saturation point soon? And when it does, what will the film industry do?

Luckily, there’s the indie scene, which is producing original and wonderful stories all the time (particularly horror: I Am A Ghost, The Babadook, and the upcoming It Follows, though I haven’t seen that last one yet). And the comedy genre keeps churning out with originals, probably because they know that pulling off sequels are difficult in that genre. There’s a growing number of biopics coming out each year (not exactly original, but not exactly overly done either), and most of the movies nominated for the Oscars each year are meant to be stand-alone films. Maybe we won’t reach saturation too soon.

But if we do, I think we might have enough filmmakers out there who aren’t so concerned with money and sequels, and want just to tell good stories. Heck, I might even join in then: I’ve got a few idea for screenplays, so I might write one too one of these days. We’ll see.

Do you like the way Hollywood is these days? Why or why not?

Do you think we’ll reach saturation point soon? What’ll happen when we do?

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Comments
  1. I always have the feeling like the majority of stuff is based on books or comics these days and then they don’t just make as many movies as there are books, but they split it up into even more parts even though it’s mostly totally unnecessary, but they want to make more money … (okay, that was a totally run-on sentence)
    It’s not that I don’t like all the adaptations, but sometimes they take on a book just to get the already existing fan-base to go to the cinema. That’s totally logical, but then they change eeeeverything there is to it (like with the DUFF) and all they actually kept from the book is the name of the main characters and the title. Stuff like that makes me a little mad.

    • It did run on a bit, but I’ll forgive you that, Katja. And I agree, it does annoy me that they’ll take books and split them up into two movies. Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. It’s unnecessary for the most part and it’s pretty transparent that it’s all for the money. If ever any of my books get made into movies, I’m going to stipulate in the contract that they can’t do that unless I give them permission to do so. I wonder how they’ll take that!

  2. Adan Ramie says:

    I felt like Hollywood reached the saturation point for me about five years ago. Most of the time, I just avoid the movies altogether, but I am excited about the all-female Ghostbusters reboot. That’s the only reboot I can really get behind — a movie that’s actually different in some way, other than just the decade and the actors. (Don’t get me started on how angry I am that they think they needed to release a new all-male Ghostbusters to be “equal”. Mansplaining much?)

    • I’m looking forward to it too. Especially with the actresses in the film, they are hilarious. But I understand what you mean, the all-male film seems pretty stupid to me. And if someone’s already reached saturation point, I wonder how many others have as well…

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