Will 2023 be the death of Hollywood's golden era of cookie-cutter movies? For the billions, and billions, of dollars that moviegoers have spent on Hollywood's cookie-cutter era of films, it could be argued that it's about time things changed. There has been an overwhelming lack of originality, and at times creativity, for far too long. Just look at what's failed this year.
Disney should revamp its entire studio. They have been on a roll all year with dismal failures or movies that have performed far below expectations. Elementals may have been the kid's movie of the summer, but it brought in just 1.6 times what it cost to make. When you're the 12th highest-grossing movie of the year and you barely made enough to be considered profitable you know the movie industry has had a bad year.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Despite being a great summer release, Dungeons & Dragons goes down as a flop with only 1.4 times its production budget of $150 million. This came as quite a surprise considering the cast was top-notch and the fact that Dungeons & Dragons is likely to be around longer than any of us will be. Michelle Rodriguez and Chris Pine have both had stellar runs and Rodriguez has been a mainstay of the surefire hits, the Fast and the Furious movies.
One that was less surprising to see fail comes up next, and this shouldn't have caught anybody off guard.
As comic book fans cried, seeing the death of the DCEU as James Gunn revamps everything, one of the final outings of a dying franchise came out to continue the disappointment at the box office this year. This was a prime example of everything good about a movie fitting into the trailers. Like Dungeons, The Flash had a short-lived run in theaters and is already out for digital buys and rentals. Flash made just 1.3 times its expensive 200 million dollar budget and some industry experts have argued they'd have lost less money on this one if they'd just left it in the can. Considering the push to have it canceled after Ezra Miller's (The Flash's) very public meltdown and troubles, it's likely Warner Bros. is kicking itself.
Fast X might still be considered a winner and has outperformed some of its competition this year, but that doesn't make Fast X what the franchise once was. In fact, with the additions of talents Jason Momoa, Alan Ritchson, and Brie Larson to the fold, some would have expected Fast X to race its way into the Billion dollar club. But, this is the tenth movie and the term franchise fatigue refers to the very real feelings of moviegoers when it comes to cookie-cutter, big-budget, big-stunt extravaganzas such as the Fast and the Furious movies.
Nevertheless, FAST X did deliver on the excitement, the star power, and the explosions and fight scenes a summertime box office hit is supposed to deliver on and that means the cast and crew made what they needed and more. Look forward to Fast 11 in 2025 if the writer's strike doesn't stall things.
Even Mission Impossible Under Performed
Tom Cruise's newest mission has proven to not be able to crack the code to beat the curse of 2023. With one of the more compelling stories, the addition of Hailey Atwell, and some old favorites returning Mission Impossible has done well but will it be well enough for the master of doing his own stunts and perfectionist behind the camera, Tom Cruise? At not even half a billion dollars, at losing its top spot to the Barbie Movie, it seems that the trend of underperforming or flat-out failing will continue.
So, what happened to Hollywood? Is the era of the cookie-cutter, rehashed, reborn, remade, and not well-thought-out movies coming to an end? After years of franchises controlling the box office and making more money than some country's annual GDP, perhaps it's time for something new.
Looking at Barbie's continued success, this may be the answer to what ails Hollywood. People need something they've never seen before, something they didn't imagine they'd seen in theaters, and something with some originality. But, the numbers can do their own speaking. Barbie's second weekend earned them the seventh spot on the list of best second weekends in theatrical run ever, and that is putting this film in good company. The top six include three of the Avengers films, Black Panther, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the first Jurrasic World movie. All of them went on to gross over a billion dollars.
This is the year that moviegoers in America spoke to Hollywood in one very loud voice and said it's time to put a toe tag on the cookie cutter, let's make the same old crap over and over again mentality that you've been spoon-feeding America for the last decade. It's time for Hollywood producers and the biggest names in the industry to start looking for original ideas to help grow into the next great American treasure at the box office. Otherwise, the days of the $75 million dollar salaries may have come to a crashing halt.
If Hollywood needs any more proof than what's been laid out, they should consider that as beloved a character as Indiana Jones is and as beloved an actor as Harrison Ford will always be, even another Indiana Jones movie couldn't put butts in the seats.
About the Creator
I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.
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