In response to learning of the remake of The Crow – Originally posted at Moviefone.com Movie remakes are ALWAYS about cashing in on the core audience of fans who clamored around the original film, especially when the original makes money. Case in point, the first Crow film (which, btw is the only one worth watching in my opinion) grossed over $50 million dollars. Can you say sequel? Those who liked the first film, either during its theatrical release or in the comfort of their home via DVD, will no doubt be highly critical of the remake. Those who didn’t like the first film or were turned off by the death of Brandon Lee during production, probably don’t care one way or the other. But remakes can be profitable, say in the case of Cape Fear starring Robert De Niro as Max Cady which raked in almost $180 million dollars world-wide. No doubt Marty Scorsese at the helm helped make the remake successful – the original Cape Fear was released in 1962 with Robert Mitchum as Cady and received critical reviews though it garnered nearly as much controversy. There are famous examples of the ‘Hollywood Remake’ all over the place. Films like, Super Size Me which cost $65,000 and made $11.5 million, Napoleon Dynamite cost less than $400,000 to make but its gross revenue was almost $50 million, Clerks by director Kevin Smith was made on less than $27,000, but its success helped launch Smith’s career and lest we forget the Blair Witch Project which made $248 million and cost $22,000? Today more than ever, movie making is all about building franchises (think Matrix, Alien, Spider Man, etc) and rehashing old films that have a tested audiences. Think of it this way, you have a new widget or something that you want to sell, but in an unproven market you have a difficult time finding financing or distribution. But if you compare your widget to other similar widgets, widgets that have proven popular with say college students, than you have a demonstrable demographic that translates into potential success. Who wants to gamble, especially with a movie that costs $5 million or more? I’m not any more interested in seeing another Crow film than I am the two that followed the original, but there’s method to the madness. You can bank on it. Remember Gus Van Sant‘s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho? It’s ALWAYS about the money. But remaking a popular film doesn’t mean there isn’t risk – the 1998 remake cost $60 million dollars and only made $37 million dollars world-wide. Most likely the producers, notably co-producer Brian Grazer who has had his share of hits and flops, believed in the new Psycho and as much in auteur Gus Van Sant. But even the best of the best can’t see the forest for the trees. Hollywood isn’t interested in changing the world, one completely original film at a time, nor is it truly interested in turning out films that people don’t want to see. Hollywood is first and foremost a business, a network of businesses for that matter, and their bottom line is turning a profit so they can continue to release films that audiences ARE going to want to shell out money for. It’s silly to presume Hollywood is in this for sinister reasons or even bad judgment, though at times it is apparent that the wrong people were “in the room” when some of these film ideas were tossed around. I completely agree that this film should not be made, that most remakes should not be made, and that it will most likely not measure up to fans of the original. The preliminary ideas about the ‘creature-effects’ of the Crow sound dismal if not appalling. But if they turn out a film that audiences embrace, they’ll resuscitate the franchise and you can look forward to Crow 5 and 6 down the road. Audiences don’t realize how much power they have to change the kinds of films that come out of Hollywood. Why do you think when a genre film comes out in January and is successful that by the end of the year there are two or three just like it? Because people bought the first one and Hollywood hopes you’ll buy the next one too. Don’t hate the player, hate the game – which, btw you’re funding every time you go to the theater so make your choices and live by them. Hollywood does.
Founder Rory Dean & Blogger @ Large Melissa K. Dean
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