It’s that time of the year again where I look into the originality of Hollywood. There has been a lot of words being thrown around these past few years about the content that Hollywood was shoving down our throats, not that we we’re complaining much.
As much as I want to agree with everyone saying that Hollywood has run out of good ideas and fresh ideas, my [snapshot] research proves otherwise.
For those that haven’t read one of my yearly analysis, I take the top 20 grossing in the US and break down several information aspects of what I find to provide a windowed look into what we as an audience are receiving. I then compare it to previous years and present the trending data.
So, this year’s top 20 earning films are as follows:
|1||Finding Dory||Walt Disney||Adventure||PG||$486,295,561|
|2||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||Walt Disney||Adventure||PG-13||$424,987,707|
|3||Captain America: Civil War||Walt Disney||Action||PG-13||$408,084,349|
|4||The Secret Life of Pets||Universal||Adventure||PG||$368,384,330|
|5||The Jungle Book||Walt Disney||Adventure||PG||$364,001,123|
|6||Deadpool||20th Century Fox||Action||R||$363,070,709|
|8||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Warner Bros.||Action||PG-13||$330,360,194|
|9||Suicide Squad||Warner Bros.||Action||PG-13||$325,100,054|
|10||Doctor Strange||Walt Disney||Adventure||PG-13||$230,107,790|
|11||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||Warner Bros.||Adventure||PG-13||$224,125,258|
|13||Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens||Walt Disney||Adventure||PG-13||$194,453,283|
|14||The Revenant||20th Century Fox||Adventure||R||$182,317,546|
|17||Star Trek Beyond||Paramount Pictures||Adventure||PG-13||$158,848,340|
|18||X-Men: Apocalypse||20th Century Fox||Action||PG-13||$155,442,489|
|19||Trolls||20th Century Fox||Adventure||PG||$150,336,646|
|20||Kung Fu Panda 3||20th Century Fox||Adventure||PG||$143,528,619|
Right off the bat you can see a repeating name. Walt Disney. As the second largest media conglomerate in the world it only makes sense that it has taken 40% of the the top 20 spots.
As far as genre goes there are only 2 that appear on the list at all. Adventure takes 70% of the movies with 14 titles and Action takes the other 30%.
Now the whole point of this:
As you can see from the graph, 50% of the movies from the years top 20 grossing films were unoriginal made, whether from being a remake or adaptation. Also, 5% of films were unoriginal sequels, meaning they are sequels to movies. This brings the years total to being 55% unoriginal. So more than half of what we were giving in mainstream entertainment was something that we’ve seen, read, or been written already before.
I like to compare by decade to see how things have changed over a 10 year period. So 2006 looks like:
See the difference? Here 50% of what was given to us was original first-time content and 10% were original sequels, totaling 60% in original content, meaning 40% in unoriginal content. So in a decade span from 2006 to 2016 original content dropped from 60% to 45%. Now does this mean that these are the numbers of what Hollywood is making? No. What this means is these are the numbers of what Hollywood is making AND what WE ARE PAYING FOR. The top 20 is based on what we spent money to buy a ticket for and watch in a theater throughout the year. So as a side note, you can’t criticize the content being shoved down your throat if you keep opening your mouth to accept it.
Now for those of you who call themselves different, before you go all “SEE I TOLD YOU SO” with your peers, here is another graph for you:
As you can see from the data I have been gathering for the past few years, 2014 was the worst year for anyone with a creative mind (probably meaning 2012 or 2013 because of how long the movie making process is). I can imagine people getting upset over the freshness of content especially when 2013 had a 55% originality rate and plummets to 10% for 2014. However, in the past 2 years originality has risen steadily to the 45%. Not the best of numbers and still 10% behind 2013 scores, but going in the right direction.
Who should we blame for these rises and falls of numbers?
Can we blame Hollywood execs that green-light these projects? Yes, we can, but how much blame can they get for doing their jobs. Hollywood is a giant, not well oiled but still squeaking along machine and they are making money from it.
Can we blame ourselves? Yes, we can. As the audience they give us what they know we’ll consume. These films get high numbers because we make them high. A film winning an Oscar of Golden Globe, that’s determined by a small group of people, but gross profit, that’s on us. They’re making money off what we complain about but still seem to heavily take in.
Can we blame the industry gate-keepers, who ever they may be? Yes, we can. This inclusive industry has been closed off for the privileged and with a limited number minds comes limited content. Every so often a new member is added and some content gets refreshed, but not nearly as fast as it should be. Why is this? Everything has a occupancy limit. There are actors and actresses that have been in the business a long time and companies and executives are shrinking the welcome mat every time they force a role change to adhere to an already established celebrity to appear in a film as an added selling point. I get it, stuff popular names into a film and the people will watch it. It’s just like when you see a new actor or actress in a role and does well, then they’re popping up in a new movies every few months. The industry focuses so hard on one target and squeezes them until they are used up and dry. That’s where they are going wrong.
In no other industry does the owner focus on one asset for long. In farming, you rotate your plots so you always have a fertile spot and can give the previous spot time to rest and recharge to come back stronger. In health, you vary up what you eat day to day because if you ate the same thing every day you’d eventually get sick of it. In fitness, you change up your workout so your muscles don’t get to used to your routine. In entertainment, they do the same thing. The scripts have the same pacing, same blocking (to the point where most movies can be predicted from start to finish without watching it), and same list of typical characters. When one person does something courageous, they next person doesn’t say “I’m making that next step”, they say “I’m going to do exactly what they did because it worked”! No one wants to put risk in this beautiful art form anymore and because of that we’re getting these monotonous, formula, step-by-step movies that just gets played on repeat.
We’re the only ones that can fix it, but we’ll see how this next year goes.
All info from: www.the-numbers.com