I'm not the only one who's sick of sequels.

“If a movie makes even a shred of money at the box office, they rush ahead and make a sequel without even sitting down to bother to produce them or write a decent story,” said Maxim magazine editor Charles Coxe. ...

But there's only one real explanation for all the movie déjà vu, he added.

“I think you can narrow it down to five words: Hollywood’s running out of ideas."

Thanks for the newsflash. I think the key to the closing sentence is Hollywood. It's no surprise that such a closed, incestuous system is running out of ideas.

As any unconnected person who has tried to shop around a script knows, studios are only interested in talking to people who have generated big bucks in the past. They're afraid of taking risks on new people, new themes, new ideas, and so forth, because it costs an incredible amount of money to produce a modern movie. It's easy to throw together a script for Scary Movie 4 in a week or two once you get a few actors signed on to guarantee an audience. It's also easy to advertise such a movie -- "Just like Scary Movie 3, except better!"

What's hard is sifting through hundreds of terrible scripts by people you don't know hoping to find a rock that will be revealed as a gold nugget only after you invest millions of dollars. The business model is what dooms the film industry to mediocrity. (And don't be fooled into thinking "independent" films don't require money and connections to produce.)

Fortunately, just as technology is undermining the traditional print media and the music industry, the movie industry will eventually be de-assimilated as well. Profits will be lower, variety will be larger, and quality (at the top) will be better. Instead of hundreds of terrible scripts we'll get hundreds of terrible movies -- but on the plus side, we'll be able to decide for ourselves what's golden.



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