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Why movies just aren’t the same anymore

Why movies just aren’t the same anymore

Why movies just aren’t the same anymore
September 16
14:00 2022

This summer’s high-budget movies all had the makings of a season blockbuster. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” all battled for a spot in the $1 billion box office club, with “Top Gun: Maverick” coming out on top.

Such large figures matter to every studio simply because they want to make money, split even and go beyond. To consumers, movies are bouts of entertainment. To studio executives, they’re creative cash cows.

In the wake of COVID-19, movie theaters and studios are still reeling from the industry-altering effects. People are now less inclined to go to theaters, especially with rising ticket prices just for a regular showing.

As seen in the past decade, one of the best ways to make money is through a cinematic universe. These are continuing lines of movies all connected by an overarching storyline. Every movie studio is building its own Marvel Cinematic Universe and looking for its “Avengers: Endgame.”

Many studios are trying this tactic, but most are failing. Even the MCU has started to lose steam. 

This is all because movie studios are missing their crucial production elements — fun, engaging and complete movies.

Studios become so caught up in the setup and 10 year plans for the future they forget a movie is supposed to be simply a movie. It’s meant to be a visual art that communicates ideas, emotions and stories, not a cash grab devoid of any worthwhile elements. 

“Top Gun: Maverick” is a legacy sequel to a movie released in 1986 that seemingly came out of nowhere. At first glance, it seems like another victim of the popular Hollywood trend of resurrecting old properties and rebooting them to give them new life. “Star Wars” did it, “Jurassic Park” did it everyone has done it. 

“Jurassic World” did excellent at the box office and was critically acclaimed, as was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “Top Gun: Maverick” on the other hand is a whole other beast. It proves what a good movie can do and how successful it can be. 

The film boasts an “A+” Cinemascore, breaking countless records and still making millions at the box office weeks into its release. The Tom Cruise led film, while being a legacy sequel, still serves as a standalone film. Audiences young and old can go totally blind into the “Top Gun” universe. 

“Top Gun: Maverick” tells a strong self-contained story instead of becoming a glorified cameo and nostalgia fest like most reboots. It presents an overarching narrative something missing in most movies today.

“Top Gun: Maverick” simply presents a complete story, not a prelude to a cinematic universe or a streaming series. It’s a movie just being a movie, which seems hard to come by in an industry barren of new ideas.

Hollywood today is filled with adaptation after adaptation and reboot after reboot. Standalone movies are hard to come by, as Hollywood pumps out repetitive sequels. Currently, it seems only smaller production companies are making standalone, creative films and branching out to new ideas other than superhero flicks. 

Enter A24 and its multiverse action film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The film had a relatively quiet release, sporting the fantastic Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” represents something a lot of films are missing. The movie isn’t afraid to take risks, doesn’t handhold audiences and has an unpredictable plot. 

It offers an absurd experience filled with laughter, crying and contemplation. It weaves a story that can only be told on the big screen, with characters that feel real and themes that resonate with audiences. It does what a movie should. 

Big cinematic and formulaic blockbusters do make money. However, films like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” should prove to studios that consumers still love original, standalone films that aren’t afraid to take risks. People want movies that have characters to connect with and stories that move them. They want movies to just be movies.

Featured Illustration by Jazmine Garcia

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Alfred Dozier

Alfred Dozier

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