With the clock ticking on 2013, you might be finalizing your list of resolutions before heading out to celebrate the New Year. But in Hollywood, you can bet that studio executives are looking at the year that was, and hoping to do more of the same in the years ahead. Much more.
The final box office tally is in, and of the top ten grossing films of 2013, eight of them were sequels or reboots. "Iron Man 3," "Despicable Me 2," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Fast & Furious 6," "Monsters University," "Man Of Steel," "Thor: The Dark World" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug" -- these are what audiences paid for around the world this year. And considering that the projected $10.9 billion North American box office haul is the biggest Hollywood has ever earned, is it any wonder this trend will continue?
All one has to do is gaze into the crystal ball that is 2015 to see what this means for your choices at the multiplex: "Insidious Chapter 3," "Fast & Furious 7," "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Jurassic World," "The Fantastic Four," "Ted 2," "Terminator 5," "Batman Vs. Superman," "Bourne 5," "Hotel Transylvania 2," "Bond 24," "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2," "Star Wars: Episode 7," "Kung Fu Panda 3," "Mission: Impossible 5"....that's not all, but you get the idea....
And while one can point to fare like "Gravity" (which made the top 10) or even Martin Scorsese's sprawling, very adult "The Wolf Of Wall Street" as evidence that audiences will vote for original movies, even Leonardo DiCaprio is very honest about the realities of getting something like his financial world raunch fest made.
"I’ve seen a shift in the films that I can get financed. I suppose people might assume the two of us can get most films we want to make financed, but it is a challenge," he told Deadline." I don’t think 'The Aviator' would get financed today and I don’t think 'Blood Diamond' would be financed today. Even in the last eight years, it’s like a gear shifted. If you want to do something of this scale, if you want to make an American epic, it had better be at a certain price. Anything above a certain line has to have the traditional things we see in blockbusters. Now, the other thing that has gone on in the last few years is the emergence of people who are fans of cinema, true cinephiles who love movies and certain filmmakers and want to support them and roll the dice on them. Thank God for those people, because I don’t otherwise see films like this getting made, at all."
So, something to think about as you pour a stiff one out for 2013, and usher in 2014 and keep this in mind: a new clip from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" will debut in Times Square this evening.