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Charting 20 Years Of Summer Box Office Movies & The Death Of The *Original* Screenplay

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by Tambay A. Obenson
August 7, 2013 9:10 PM
2 Comments
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Fast & Furious 6

A worth-sharing chart (below) created by USA Today, which doesn't necessarily tells us anything we don't already know (that sequels, prequels, spin-offs, reboots, remakes, etc dominate Hollywood studio filmmaking today - specifically, the summer blockbuster movie season). But it's always nice to see the raw data charted.

You can see just how much the *original* screenplay has gradually been supplanted by retreads over the years. In 1993, as you can see, only 3 movies (out of 20, or 15%) released that summer were make-overs of some kind. 20 years later, in 2013, eleven out of 20 summer movies (or 55%) are retreads.

In 2007, a whopping seventy percent were redos - the highest in recent years.

I imagine, if a similar chart is created in another 5 years, that percentage will be even higher. Next summer (2014) is already shaping up to be another season dominated by sequels, prequels, spin-offs, reboots, remakes, etc. 

To wit: X-Men: Days of Future Past, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, Fast & Furious 7, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Untitled Transformers Sequel, 22 Jump Street, Maleficent, and Hercules... to start.

That's already 12 right there.

Also, the last time a movie that wasn't a make-over topped summer box office was in 2003.

Check out the full chart below. Although I recommend the chart that's on USA Today's website, since it's interactive - as in, putting your mouse over each colored block will open up a pop-up window with film titles and domestic box office information.

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2 Comments

  • Troy | August 8, 2013 6:25 PMReply

    So those shitty movies from the 80s and before were good because they were original?

  • Daryl | August 8, 2013 5:01 PMReply

    That's what happens when you let wall st takes over the film industry. They are going to back only movies there consider as close to sure things as possible or movie with merchandising tie ins. They are not going to take risks on original screenplays that might not turn a profit or even it they are profitable, they are not profitable enough for them to bother with it. True Independents that are doing this for the love of films and wanting to tell their story or a story that they think should be told are the last frontier of preserving films as an art form instead of just being another brand of products to sell to the consumers.

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