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Reboots & Remakes: wins or fails?

Updated: Jan 8

By Liam Bouza

Photo Credit to Pexels

Over the years, movie-goers have received the gift (or potentially curse) of remakes and reboots. Reboots are films which take the structure of the original film and add new adventures to it. Remakes are simply classic films redone. The multitude of reboots and remakes begs the question: are there more fails or wins?

Many movie fanatics, when faced with the news of their favorite movie being remade, will hold their breath until the film gets released. The expectations are typically sky high.

Production companies recognize that fans everywhere thrive off of remake culture. According to Doc’s Drive-In Theatre, these companies calculate the risk of going forward with a remake or reboot, while keeping in mind which characters in a show or film fans connect to the most.

This way, production companies make money on selling fans a feeling of nostalgia that they know fans adore. As Doc’s Drive- In Theatre writes, “As long as reboots and remakes are a safe bet for production studios, money will rule decision making in Hollywood.”

A prime example of this is the 1995 film “Jumanji,” starring Robin Williams. This film is now on Netflix. The 2017 remake, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas, made $962.1 million in revenue worldwide, according to Forbes.

Graphic Credit to Willima Nguyen

This success earned it a sequel in 2019: “Jumanji: The Next Level."

In the original, "Jumanji" was a board game that brought the jungle world to the player. For the game to stop becoming reality, the players had to finish playing.

Similarly, in the new versions of the film, Jumanji is a video game that takes the players into its world. If the players want to return to reality (and their lives), they have to finish the game.

Another prominent, though possibly overdone, reboot is the classic “A Cinderella Story." Cultured Vultures columnist Natasha Alvar wrote an article titled, “Why Does Cinderella Keep Getting Adapted?” In the article, Alvar expressed her belief that “A Cinderella Story” reboots are overplayed.

“After so many different iterations, do we really need a new one?” wrote Alvar.

Graphic Credit to Anna Galaktionov

The original film, “A Cinderella Story” came out in 2004. It was followed by “Another Cinderella Story” in 2008, “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song” in 2011, “A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits” in 2016, “A Cinderella Story: A Christmas Wish” in 2019, and “A Cinderella Story: Starstruck” in 2021.

Each of these films follows a girl who is an outcast and falls for the “popular guy.” Although an “unlikely” pair, the two end up together.

While Alvar thinks these reboots may be a fail, the nostalgia they bring back may make them a win.

The uncertainty about this highlights the fact that reboots and remakes always face the possibility of flopping – it's a coin toss every single time.

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