Posted by: michellemuldoon | January 11, 2012

Remake Train Picks Up Steam

A new year, a new sense of optimism. That’s the way it should be, right?  For the most part, it’s what everyone I know has been talking about; out with that dastardly 2011, and in with the beautiful baby that is 2012. This should be the year that Hollywood realizes there’s fresh talent out there with unique voices, and exciting new ideas. But that isn’t the way it’s beginning.  [insert foreboding sound here]  The remake train is picking up steam and prepping to leave the station.

The latest 80’s film to get the new and improved treatment is Police Academy. It’s fresh on the heels of other remakes announced in 2011. They include Annie with Willow Smith, Red Dawn with Chris Hemsworth, My Fair Lady with Carrie Mulligan, and Point Break (no stars attached yet). For more information on these films, you can visit a site called Next Movie.

You’d think the decision to remake past hits was based on a sound business decision.  Looking at the numbers, I’d say, not likely. has an article that uses Box Office Mojo numbers, adjusted for inflation, to show that remakes aren’t always successful, and rarely bring in as much as the original. Out of the 100 highest grossing films of all time, not one is a remake. You can find the CNBC article HERE. To be fair, less revenue doesn’t mean the remake was a flop. Also, the initial film comparison shows that the remake trend isn’t necessarily new.

So, the question is, why this most recent rush to remake films that were successful in their day? I can only think it’s fear.  It’s a high risk, high reward game. Film budgets are escalating, audiences are loving their big screen home theatre set-ups, and marketing budgets are mutant cherries on top of all that icing. Do you know what will be a hit? Guess what, neither do they. So, why risk something original, when tried and true might still have some pop left in it?

Does this curtail my enthusiasm for 2012? Not one bit.  Do I think this trend will fade away like all the others before it, and original scripts will have their day again? Possibly. All I know is, dreams should never die because of someone else’s short-sightedness. If we don’t aspire to more, and don’t live our lives pursuing our passions, then we might as well live in black and white. And I don’t know about you, but I plan to live mine in high-definition technicolour.

Keep dreaming, and keep jotting down those original ideas. It’s a simple formula like this that will make 2012 the year you want it to be.

What are you waiting for? Get to it!

The First Train



  1. In theory, remakes should be a fun part of the mix, right? Shouldn’t we be happy that we can watch a favorite film recast with new actors, spiffy new cinematic technologies and a new take on the story? Right…

    Why does it work in live theater and not on the screen?

    • As financial resources diminish, and Hollywood makes less films (which they are doing), increasing the number of remakes diminishes the financing for original works. We use terms like film industry, and show business, and often overlook the key words in those phrases; business and industry. The rules that govern production in film are completely unlike the rules that govern the theatre. Call me naive, but I think the theatre is still based on a love for the art of the medium, first and foremost. While independent producers must really love what they do to fight their uphill battle, the big money still comes from the studio system, and where once they were ruled by moguls who equally loved film and money, I don’t think that’s true anymore.


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