Original ideas can support us all.
For the past 20 years, the Hollywood film studio’s plan has been the same: buy into the largest piece of property you can get your hands on and produce tentpole films based on that IP.
Sometimes it leads to Marvel and war of stars-Type success. Other times it was like Different. More often, these bets are somewhere in between.
But no matter how big a film came out or how big a bomb appeared to be, no one deviated from the course. Until now.
The blockbuster era of Hollywood came about due to the rise of the golden era of television. People didn’t go to the movies, so the studios took over making calculated bets on what kind of stories we wanted. They chose books, remade old ideas, and started a lot of franchises from scratch.
But when we are past the pandemic year, many wonder if this is still the most sensible business model for the future.
Take something like A quiet place or The purge. Both are original films that come with nothing more than an airtight concept and great genre beats. These films were real smash hits and were shot on limited budgets that did not require large studio stakes. Each of them could be spun off into non-IP sequels, giving the creators more leeway to bow to the will of the filmmakers involved.
Or how about something like that John Wick? It followed a similar concept and became an even bigger international hit, with so many different copycats from the first three films.
Huge Hollywood corporations are rethinking their business operations with the ability to create intellectual property within the studio. And it’s changing the way Hollywood is structured.
During the tentpole era, most studios gave up their overall contracts with smaller producers and focused only on those who brought in the bigger projects. It also meant firing studio managers who were responsible for developing ideas. Now the game is about reading and developing as many scripts as possible, which could lead to an increase in purchase specs. But who is reading it?
Studios need to make a quick decision whether to expand overalls to more producers, hire more in-house executives, or want a mix of both to survive. They also need to look at the genres which can help them create and market a trailer for the movies they buy. And they have to look at the budgets. Perhaps it is wiser to make ten $ 20 million films than one $ 200 million film. That way, you have more chances of starting internal franchises that you own and can outsource in any direction you want.
“1) Go on a shopping spree to find something new to develop based on an existing property. 2) Try restarting or reconsidering an existing franchise. 3) Go back to the roots of a studio and find an old property that can be introduced as a new universe, much like how MonsterVerse grew into a very broad franchise, ”he said.
One thing that doesn’t go away is the idea of restarting things. Reboots are essentially studios that are mining what they already own in order to resell it to consumers. It’s hard to imagine this going away, especially as we see them turn their own ideas into reboots of franchises or more branches of the same tree.
There is a limitation with these reboots. I think they’re getting a lot smaller. At least in the first iteration of their film. I can’t imagine them restarting Harry Potter and starts epic. It’s more likely they’d find a way to spend less to test the waters unless they re-imagined the series in full.
Either way, Hollywood’s tentpole bubble is changing and expanding every day. While places like Disney may never change course, small studios need to find a way to stay open and relevant when they can’t risk it all.
Hopefully this will translate into more jobs, script sales, and paid work across the industry.
Let us know what you think in the comments.