It is a common complaint - but how true is it?
It's an area where everyone has an opinion ... but thankfully we don't have to rely on opinions (especially mine!) because we have the facts at our fingertips. It is trivial to search a list of all Hollywood films and crosscheck them.
So to test this theory I looked at films that:
1. Had a theatrical release in the USA in 2010.
2. Had a production company in the USA
Not all of them may be 'Hollywood' - but it certainly a start to get an answer to the question.
From a quick analysis of these 194 films we see:
|60%||Totally New||The Back-up Plan, Black Swan, The Bounty Hunter, Hot Tub Time Machine, Easy A|
|12%||Sequel||Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Get Him to the Greek|
|19%||Book||‘127 Hours’, ‘Legend of the Guardians’|
|3%||Comic / Graphic Novel|
Kick-Ass, The Losers,Red, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Jonah Hex, Marmaduke
The A-Team, The Last Airbender,MacGruber,Yogi Bear
For Colored Girls, Jack Goes Boating, Rabbit Hole, The Tempest
|4%||Non 3-D remake of an English Language Film||Clash of the Titans, The Crazies, Death at a Funeral, The Karate Kid, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wall Street, The Wolfman|
|1%||A 3-D Remake of an English Language Film||Piranha 3-D,Tron Legacy|
|2%||Remake of a Foreign Language Film||Dinner for Schmucks, Hachiko: A Dog's Story, Let Me In |
|1%||Video Game||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time |
|1%||Legends & Myths||Robin Hood|
There were clearly some tricky decisions as to how to class certain films.
* I counted 'The Karate Kid', 'Tron' & 'Wall Street' as remakes even though they pretend to be sequels.
* Even though 'Easy-A' has plenty of references to 'The Scarlet Letter' I figured I wouldn't count it as 'Based on the book'.
It's also clear that they often base a film on a book for research & IP reasons rather than the book's popularity as a book. So '127 Hours' & 'The Social Network' are based on events that people had heard of .. yet are classed as 'based on the book'.
However we review the figures, though, it is clear that the US Film industry's reputation as being obsessed with movie remakes doesn't seem to be true - with only about 7% being based on previous films.
This entry is an archive from my earlier blog on 'The Filmmaker's Factory'
Image used with permission. Credit: www.chrissatchwell.com