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Will re-releases of classic films save cinema?

The ultimate antidote to nostalgia-bait

Will re-releases of classic films save cinema?  The ultimate antidote to nostalgia-bait

The solution was right in front of everyone's eyes, yet no one thought about it. For years, major film studios have invested enormous funds in remakes and reboots of all kinds. Some of them have indeed worked, like the Planet of the Apes saga or the recent Evil Dead Rise; others, however, have struggled either critically or at the box office. The problem is nostalgia-bait, where the sole purpose of the film is to evoke previous films in the hopes of enticing historical viewers and adding historical depth to the new film. A mechanism that has tainted many scripts and productions in recent years, along with other organizational and remunerative problems that culminated last year with the long summer strike of Hollywood workers. This year, the box office seems to still favor remakes (Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the second most-watched film after Dune 2, closely followed by the fourth sequel of Kung Fu Panda), but something interesting happened this May: at the beginning of the month, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Star Wars - The Phantom Menace, the film returned to theaters, grossing $14.5 million in a single weekend and quickly re-entering the Top 50 highest-grossing films of all time. The result is impressive for a film that is a quarter of a century old and is perhaps one of the highest in a year dominated (especially in the USA) by re-releases of films like The Mummy, which made a million dollars in three days, or Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, which in the same time added $3.2 million to its already huge box office. But why have re-releases of old films increased this year?

The triggering cause of so many classic film returns to cinemas is probably to be found in the writer and actor strike of last year, which lasted several months and was responsible for delaying the release schedule of numerous films. To fill the programming gaps, production studios have devised a series of cinema comebacks, bringing back to theaters both films celebrating their anniversary (following the anniversaries of films celebrated by dedicated cinema social media accounts) and assured hits. The result is a real monthly calendar of re-releases that will last relatively few days but promise earnings of several million at basically no cost. The problem with many films in recent years, in fact, is the impressive increase in budget that makes them perhaps more "spectacular" but also forces them to achieve increasingly unrealistic earnings to cover expenses - a break-even figure calculated by multiplying a certain film's production budget by 2.5. For example, Challengers, costing $55 million, will have to make $137.5 million to cover production and marketing expenses, and any extra profit will be calculated from that figure. In a very indicative manner, in the second weekend of programming in America, Guadagnino's film was surpassed by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and by The Fall Guy, Ryan Gosling's new film, which, for example, with a budget of $130 million, should ideally make $325 million to avoid losing money - and is therefore a commercial disappointment despite the excellent opening weekend and enthusiastic reviews.

@blakes_takes1 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace brings in another $15 Million #starwars #movie #news #boxoffice #darthmaul #anakinskywalker #obiwan #quigonjinn #darthvader #foryou #foryoupage #fypage original sound - Blake’s Takes

Many users on Twitter have already begun to express the desire that re-releases become a practice: if production studios want to respond to the audience's nostalgia demand, why not give them back the old films directly instead of making more but more disappointing ones? The tactic is interesting because it would allow these major companies, which own a vast catalog of classic films, to record secure earnings without huge financial commitments and then better and more cautiously experiment on original projects with less risky budgets. We will probably see the experiment unfold live after the summer, as at the end of May, for two days, The Crow from the '90s will return to theaters, and three months later, at the end of August, this year's remake with the same title will be released: who of the two will earn more in a single weekend? It's something akin to the introduction of a sort of circular economy in cinema, which would also allow some classics to reach different generations and somewhat appease the content gluttony that has recently led to the rise of "Mid TV", or mediocre television as described by the New York Times, but also to the change of pace of the Marvel Studios, who have recently announced that, after an impressive series of setbacks at the box office and losses of over a billion dollars, they will return to a qualitative rather than quantitative approach, reducing annual film releases to a maximum of three and television series to a maximum of two. After all, seeing a classic film in theaters is always better.