Screenwriting

Night of the Naked Dead!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Loss of the Original Idea?

The movie box office generated billions in ticket sales in 2014. Surprisingly, Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie based on a Marvel comic book, finished as the top earning movie of 2014. View a list of the top 2014 box office finishers and you'll notice the top movies are either sequels, remakes, and/or content based on previous material. Where are the original movies? Do movie fans have to wait until The Academy® reveals Oscar® nominations to discover original films?

Original ideas still thrive in Hollywood. The Oscars® will soon get us back into original mode. However, the original story is struggling to perform since the box office is dependent on moviegoers, who are spending their hard-earned money on comic book movies, remakes, sequels, movies based on books, movies based on true stories and other movies based on previous material. It appears that tossing money toward material with a built-in audience, rather than risk it all on original ideas, is a safe bet.  

Do you believe originality is going dormant for a few more years? Until a slew of original scripts arrive at the Hollywood doorstep and entice studios to invest into more great original ideas, don't expect originality to lead the box office. Inception is an exception to this original rule, so are many great classic 80's movies that moviegoers still enjoy watching today. Back to the Future is one of those major classics. E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Top Gun, and Beverly Hills Cop were huge box office earners. 

Hollywood studios and independent production companies are making original films. Unfortunately, moviegoers dictate whether these movies earn money, lose money and/or flame out. A strong marketing campaign can take lukewarm hits and transform these into blockbusters. Good word-of-mouth builds hype and encourage movie fans to attending showings.

There are many steps involved in making Hollywood movies and independent films. The moviegoing public have a huge hand in whether original movies see light or are buried in the flop archives. Taking risks that translates into huge losses can sink a studio department like a battle ship. Cheaply made original movies can deliver great box office performances. Insidious and Saw are an example of this original paradigm, where the screenwriter and director tandem make good use of small shoestring budgets to deliver huge commercial hits. 

Trust us when we tell you that original scripts are sought after. Screenwriters who write original, thought-provoking scripts with commercial potential, can get optioned. Dust off those original scripts! Keep screenwriting! 


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