Reel Talk: The End of the Reboot?

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Jillian Leiby , JagWire opinions editor

This summer has had an array of reboots and remakes. Some have succeeded, but many have failed. Now that summer is done, is the faith in reboots coming to an end as well?

There were only really two successful reboots this summer: “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Jurassic World.” I personally found “Jurassic World” to be subpar, but it made a lot of money. “Mad Max: Fury Road” was one of my favorite films of all time, and had good box office numbers, especially considering its R rating. Both films are reboots of popular series, and both set expectations incredibly high this summer.

Then, the bad movies come. “Terminator: Genisys” came out a month after the two previous films and received terrible reviews. It did make four times its budget, though, thanks to a hefty China box office. A month later, “Fantastic Four” came out to a public relations nightmare. It barely received a 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and even its own director tweeted against the movie. The opening box office was abysmal and the film sluggishly received just over its budget.

Now, critics and fans alike are nervous. We are not 50 percent with reboots. But it doesn’t stop there.

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E” came out a week after “Fantastic Four” and receives mediocre reviews and a below expectation box office. A planned sequel was quickly tabled.

A month later: “Hitman: Agent 47,” a film no one wanted or was remotely excited about., debuted. Consequently, the film was panned by critics and barely made $60 million.

Last week, “The Transporter Refueled”, which had the same buzz that “Hitman: Agent 47” had, came out. It was a box office failure. No one wants another Transporter movie without Jason Statham, just like no one wanted another Hitman movie. Period.

So, we are no longer 50 percent with reboots. And, maybe, it’s time that we become more original in our films. This Christmas, the incredibly anticipated reboot, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is coming out to dedicated fans. It will make a lot of money, no doubt. But will it be faithful to the Star Wars series, while remaining fresh and interesting? This summer has proven that it can go in completely opposite directions. One thing’s for sure, it will not be as good as “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the only true exception to the rule.

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