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New York Times Magazine: Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies

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New York Times Magazine: Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies

Old 07-27-17, 01:06 PM
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New York Times Magazine: Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies

Interesting story in the NYT Magazine today that I thought folks on here may enjoy reading. Some snippets:

Since Vinson got into the business, something has changed in Hollywood. More and more movies are developed from intellectual property: already existing stories or universes or characters that have a built-in fan base. Vinson thinks it started in 2007, when the Writers Guild went on strike. ‘‘Before the strike, the studios were each making 20-*something movies a year,’’ he says. ‘‘Back then, you could get a thriller made. After the strike, they cut back dramatically on the number of films they made. It became all about I.P.’’ — intellectual property. With fewer bets to place, the studios became more cautious. ‘‘The way to cut through the noise is hitching yourself onto something customers have some exposure to already,’’ he says. ‘‘Something familiar. You’re not starting from scratch. If you’re going to work in the studio system, you better have a really big I.P. behind you.’’
This trend toward I.P.-*based movies has been profound. In 1996, of the top 20 grossing films, nine were live-*action movies based on wholly original screenplays. In 2016, just one of the top 20 grossing movies, ‘‘La La Land,’’ fit that bill. Just about everything else was part of the Marvel universe or the DC Comics universe or the ‘‘Harry Potter’’ universe or the ‘‘Star Wars’’ universe or the ‘‘Star Trek’’ universe or the fifth Jason Bourne film or the third ‘‘Kung Fu Panda’’ or a super-*high-*tech remake of ‘‘Jungle Book.’’ Just outside the top 20, there was a remake of ‘‘Ghostbusters’’ and yet another version of ‘‘Tarzan.’’

This year there is more of the same — the third installment of ‘‘XXX,’’ the Smurfs, ‘‘Pirates of the Caribbean’’ (a franchise based on a theme-park ride), a King Kong movie, Thor, the sequel to ‘‘Blade Runner,’’ a remake of ‘‘Beauty and the Beast,’’ ‘‘CHIPS,’’ ‘‘Power Rangers,’’ another ‘‘Star Wars’’ movie, a ‘‘Guardians of the Galaxy’’ sequel, two Stephen King adaptations (‘‘The Dark Tower’’ and ‘‘It’’), ‘‘Wonder Woman,’’ ‘‘The Mummy,’’ ‘‘The War for the Planet of the Apes,’’ a retelling of Agatha Christie’s ‘‘Murder on the Orient Express.’’ Every stripe of intellectual property is represented: from comic books to best sellers; from the public domain to unnervingly recent source material like ‘‘Baywatch.’’

This environment has fostered, in some producers, a sense of desperation. When I asked Vinson if the changes his business has undergone over the past decade have inspired him to panic, he told me: ‘‘Absolutely. It’s forced me to look at everything as though it could be I.P.’’ Increasingly, that means non*narrative I.P.: stuff with big followings but no stories, or even characters, already cooked in.
Full story: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/m...uit-ninja.html
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Old 07-27-17, 01:53 PM
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Re: New York Times Magazine: Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies

I think the film industry is no different than any other industry where "branding" is the number one consideration. Make products people are familiar with and can relate to.

Other than a few disappointments, most of these "IP" films have had tremendous financial returns.

As long as consumers don't demand anything more than the same thing over and over, this trend will continue.

Another factor is the importance of the global market where action films and comic-book films appeal to audiences whose command of the English language is somewhat limited.
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Old 07-27-17, 01:53 PM
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Re: New York Times Magazine: Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies

Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies


Because money
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Old 07-27-17, 02:15 PM
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Re: New York Times Magazine: Why Hollywood Is Trying to Turn Everything Into Movies

You have to remember that more MBAs are running Hollywood studios these days than former creative types. The industry has gotten so big and the stakes so high that accountants have more influence than artists.

Brands like Marvel, DC and Harry Potter have built-in audiences, so the movies are easier to sell than an unknown concept.
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