1980s movie remakes are bogus
April 17, 2010
Filed under Opinions
The 1980s witnessed the continued rise of the blockbuster, encouraged more nudity in film, introduced the rating PG-13 and invented the sub-genre of teen comedy. Films from this decade gave us unforgettable characters like Jeff Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and Marty McFly from “Back to the Future” whose charisma and unique personalities cause them to remain heroes in the minds of their generation and icons in ours.
However the journey is not over for “Footloose’s” Ren McCormack or even “Nightmare on Elm Street’s” legendary Freddy Krueger. These distinguished films, among many from the decade, have been, or are in the process of being remade.
Too bad they’re going to flop.
The news of Columbia Pictures’ remake of the 1984 box office hit “The Karate Kid” had me wondering, will they ever learn?
One would think that the colossal failure of Lions Gate Films’ 2004 “Dirty Dancing” sequel, “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” would have tipped them off. According to Box Office Mojo, a box office reporting service, the original 1987 film grossed about $63.5 million in the states. The sequel, with a $25 million budget, made only $14 million.
Then came Lakeshore Entertainment’s 2009 remake of “Fame.” It’s safe to say that bombed. The 1980 film made $21.2 million, whereas the remake grossed about $22.5 million. Keep in mind that, According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, the average ticket price in 1980 was $2.69. By 2009, almost 30 years later, it had increased to $7.50. So about 7.8 million tickets were purchased upon the original film’s release, compared to the remake’s 2.9 million.
The lesson to be learned is that masterpieces should be left alone. As with all things creative, there’s always room for improvement, but only so much can be done to hits like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the 10th most popular film of 1986. Shockingly, it is rumored to be up for remaking as well. And Matthew Broderick (Bueller) who Nylon Magazine calls “the penultimate teen hero,” isn’t exactly thrilled about it.
In Cinematical’s recent interview with him, they touched on the subject. “I probably wouldn’t enjoy [participating in the remake.] I would rather leave what we did as our thing.”
I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Broderick.
Today’s Hollywood executives, suffering from an extreme case of lack of imagination, obviously maintain the hope that lightning will strike twice. One would assume that the screenwriters with their six and seven digit salaries could be a little more creative, but instead they bank on recognized franchises and previously successful films. It’s a blatant sign of unoriginality, and it’s highly disappointing.
The thing is, if we keep paying to see these remakes, that’s all we’ll get. Let’s give the movie industry a slap in the face and say, “For ten dollars a ticket, we refuse to settle for less. We demand original, innovative films, not an endless parade of sequels like ‘Ghostbusters III,’ whose stars are approaching their sixties.”
Take a stand, fellow movie goers. We can end this offensive Hollywood trend if we boycott these retreads. It is our responsibility as the new generation to produce our own catalog of iconic films that the next generation will want to rip off.