It's safe to say that on an average day, you can observe at least five people working on a screenplay in or around West Hollywood without even trying. Usually, they are bent over a steaming mug of Joe, are clutching a highlighter like there is no tomorrow and are grimacing at the result of their 2oth re-write.
Surprisingly, even with all these struggling writers clamoring for a piece of the marquee, 2007 is slated to be the "Year of the Sequel".
You may be thinking, â€œWait, wasn't 2006 chock full of sequels too?"
Sure, we had "Pirates of the Caribbean 2", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning", "X-Men: The Last Stand", "Superman Returns", "Ice Age: The Meltdown", "Clerks 2" and who can forget "Van Wilder Presents: The Rise of Taj"?
Was Van Wilder even IN that movie?
Granted, 6 of the top 12 movies of 2006 were sequels or remakes. These films helped to boost a steadily declining box office revenue and give hope to movie makers that American's hadn't completely given up on the big screen.
Unfortunately, this was not the case two years ago, when numbers were sliding and the studios were clamoring to find some way to get people back in the seats. They started gobbling up sequels and remakes at an alarming rate.
This year, we get to see the results of that desperate act.
To be fair, many of the sequel films that are slated for release this year are huge buzz makers. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" along with the third installments of "Shrek", "Pirates..." and "Spiderman" have fans biting their nails and counting down the days until release.
Still, others have been met with disdain.
"Epic Movie", yet another spin-off of the "Scary Movie" franchise is hitting theaters later this month. With the flop the "Date Movie" made not very long ago, all I can ask is "Why?â€
"Hannibal Rising" will give us the back story of the famous Hannibal Lector from "The Silence of the Lambs". Early reviews are touchy, mostly giving this prequel a thumb down for ruining the mystery of one of the most likable villains in movie history.
"Live Free or Die Hard", the fourth installment of the "Die Hard" series will premiere in the summer of 2007. This film has been mulled over for years and has a huge following interested in if Bruce Willis can still win over the action hero fan boys.
A new CGI version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" has potential. But, can it really stand up to the films that came before it? Live action turtles kicking ninja butt may win the house here.
"Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer" managed to keep Jessica Alba as Elasti-Girl, so, I'm sure at least teenage boys and budding lesbians will push ticket sales. The first movie was considered a let-down but the CGI Silver Surfer has fans hoping for wicked special effects, if nothing more.
To round out the list we still have: "Rush Hour 3", "Alien Vs Predator 2", "Oceans 13", "28 Weeks Later", "Evan Almighty", "The Hills Have Eyes 2", "Hostel Part 2", "National Treasure 2", "Halloween 2007", "Resident Evil 3", and "The Bourne Ultimatum" to look forward to!
Good luck, struggling screen writers! Although most of these films probably won't be winning any awards, it seems that it is just getting harder for original ideas to make it with big studios.
Just keep "Little Miss Sunshine", "Half-Nelson" and "Short Bus" in the back of your minds as you consider throwing your script in the Coffee Bean's trash and starting work on a new "Freddy vs. Jason".
There is still hope....
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 C. Reagan
Attack of the Killer Sequel
Copyright © 2010 C. Reagan
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