The scale of Hollywood remakes and reboots

There a number of clear signs you’re getting older; Policemen look younger, music gets louder and more unintelligible and you start complaining more often about “How could they possibly remake that movie?”

Personally, I think part of the outcry against any upcoming Hollywood remake is in fact misplaced anxiety about the passage of time and the ever-closer creeping inevitability of death, but I guess that’s a debate for a different blog. While you’re still around to complain, would you like to see the stats on Hollywood remakes?  ‘Course you would…

  • The percentage of Hollywood remakes has been falling over the past decade
  • In 2005, 17% of top grossing films were Hollywood remakes but by 2014 it was just 5%
  • The fourth horror film ever made was a …
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Hollywood sequels by the numbers

Last week’s article on how original Hollywood movies are had such a great response that I’ve rushed out a sequel featuring many of the same characters.  Not only that, but I’ve twigged that I can split the follow-up into two parts to maximise my audience.  (I may have been studying Hollywood for too long…) This week I am looking at Hollywood sequels and next week I will be addressing remakes and reboots.  I looked at the 100 highest US grossing films of each of the past 10 years, focusing on Hollywood sequels and prequels.  In summary…

  • In the past 10 years, the number of top grossing films which were sequels has more than doubled
  • In both 2013 and 2014, seven of the top 10 grossing films were …
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How original are Hollywood movies?

A while ago I looked at the source of Hollywood films, to see what existing material they were adapted from.  It’s a topic I continue to get questions about; specifically about the number of sequels, spinoffs and reboots in Hollywood today.  Therefore, I’ve decided to take a more detailed look at the lineage of the top grossing Hollywood films.

Today’s research looks at the 100 highest grossing films at the US box office in each year between 2005 and 2014 (1,000 films in total). In summary…

  • 39% of top movies released 2005-14 were truly original, i.e. not an adaptation, sequel, spin-off, remake, or other such derivative work
  • The biggest ten movies of each year are rarely truly original (15% of the time, 2005-14).
  • In both 2013 and …
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Film industry press: The most shared articles

Last week I looked at the volume of articles published by major film industry news publications.  This week I have built upon that information to uncover the film industry’s most shared, liked and tweeted articles. I studied all 239,720 articles published by Deadline, the Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire, Screen International and Variety between 2012 and 2014. In summary…

  • Variety has the largest presence on Facebook while the Hollywood Reporter is most shared on Twitter.
  • “Dies” is Variety’s 20th most frequently-used word in headlines, appearing in 2.5% of headlines.
  • In 2014, the Hollywood Reporter received an average of 97 tweets per article.
  • 7% of the Hollywood Reporter headlines included the word ‘exclusive’, compared with 3% at Indiewire.
  • Variety published seven of the top ten most tweeted articles of the film industry press in 2012-14.
  • The …
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Film industry press: Who publishes the most?

Today’s article started life in much the same way this blog did – a conversation in a pub with fellow film professionals. We were discussing the merits of different film industry press sites and my interest was piqued enough to want to have a look at the numbers. I took a look at articles published by five major film industry press sites between 2012 and 2014. In the coming weeks I will share more of what I found but let’s start with the basics – how many articles do they publish and who’s writing them.

Reporting on reporting

I should start by saying that it isn’t fair to compare different publications purely by the number of articles they publish.  The length, quality and depth …

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Are British filmmakers a load of drama queens?

Today’s research started out as a simple investigation into what percentage of UK films are dramas but quickly descended into exploring the meaning of genre.

In the distribution world it’s often said that “drama is not a genre”.  This means that most genres provide the audience with a clearly defined expectation of what the film will be before they see it.  However, saying that a film is a drama doesn’t give us anything to go on when assessing what it may involve. Most dramas are either star-driven or ‘execution dependent’ (i.e. they have to be good and get great reviews to have any hope of attracting an audience).

Despite this, a huge number of the films we make in Britain are …

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How many movies based on Shakespeare plays are there?

This week I haven’t had a great deal of time to produce in-depth research so here instead is something a bit lighter than my normal fare. I took a look at the number of movies based on Shakespeare plays. In summary…

  • There are 525 films which give Shakespeare some sort of writing credit
  • Of those, 294 are full adaptations of Shakespeare plays
  • Hamlet is the most often adapted Shakespeare play
  • Over half of all Shakespeare feature film adaptations are based on Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth or Othello.
Of the movies based on Shakespeare, which plays are most frequently adapted?

In total, there are 525 feature films which give William Shakespeare some form of writing credit. Looking in more detail at these films I found 294 films which …

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How good are movies which pass the Bechdel Test?

I should start this article with a personal note – I don’t like what I’ve found. I always try to approach data impartially and not look for certain results. Inevitably, this sometimes leads to results which challenge my beliefs or my opinions.  I am a firm believer that the representation of women on screen is often woefully poor and needs addressing.

Last week the guys at FiveThirtyEight published a great analysis of the box office performance of films which pass the Bechdel Test. My first thought was ‘damn’ as I have also been working on a similar study. They have been extremely thorough and it’s well worth reading their article. In order to avoid repeating their work I have shifted my research …

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Which script adaptations make the best films?

Today’s article is a mash-up of two topics I’ve previously covered. Last month, I published research into the source of Hollywood screenplays (i.e. script adaptations) and last week I investigated how audiences and critics rate films. So, it seemed only natural to put these two topics together and look at how critics and audiences rate films that come from different screenplay sources. I looked at the top 100 grossing films of each of the past 20 years (giving me 2,000 films to study) to calculate the average ratings given by IMDb users and the Metascore (i.e. film critics). In summary…

  • Screenplays based on true life events make the highest rated films
  • Films with original screenplays receive lower than average ratings
  • Critics and audiences …
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What are the highest-grossing movie adaptations?

This week I have been looking at the 100 highest grossing films for each of the last 20 years. This gave me a dataset of 2,000 films with which to answer a question from Tom Worth…

Can you crunch the data on the number of films that are original screenplays and those that are based on some other source be it a book, comic, another film, etc. We all know Hollywood has gone franchise crazy recently but I’d be interested to see that actual data.

In summary…

  • 51% of the top 2,000 films of the last 20 years were movie adaptations
  • The most common source for movie adaptations is literary fiction.
  • 2012 saw five times the number of sequels released compared to 1999
  • Romantic Comedy is …
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