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Dan Carrier’s movies news: Studios to play it safe?

05 January, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

A NEW year – but will it be the same old, same old for movie-goers?

As studios face increased competition due to changes in how we watch films, last year’s box office records show that they are increasingly playing it safe – which means plenty of sequels, remakes and re-imaginings.

In the UK in 2017, the biggest box office draw was the Disney hit Beauty and the Beast, a live action remake of their animated version from 1991 (and, of course, a play on the 1740 fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve).

Although its subject matter has interested previous film-makers, Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster Dunkirk bucked the trend by coming in at number two, but was the only non-remake or sequel in the UK’s top 10 movies.

The same story is mimicked over in the USA – costly sequels were the order of the day, filling every spot in the top 10.

The Last Jedi (pictured) took tickets sales past the $11 billion mark, just slightly below the number sold last year. But film industry watchers believe such successes are masking deeper, long-term problems.

According to a report in The Economist in December, tickets sales have declined to their lowest point since the early 1970s and that critics’ websites such as Rotten Tomatoes can kill films before they are released.

It makes it even more important for studios to recognise small budget films can be brilliant, too, if they get the story-telling right. Whopping costs create a risk-averse atmosphere and is a self-fulfilling prophecy in the slow death of cinema-going as a leisure pursuit.


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