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Are movie remakes a good thing?

Dan Stevens (left) and Emma Watson perform in the film remake of Beauty and the Beast.

Selena Morales, a Texas Wesleyan sophomore liberal studies major, said she’s excited about movie remakes because they might be better than the original.

“For example, I loved Beauty and the Beast and it was my favorite movie as a child,” Morales said. “Recently, they made another one but this one is different. It’s real people, better quality, and enjoyable for adults.”

Morales said movie reboots really depend on the franchise and how popular it was.

“Most remakes are from original movies that were very popular,” Morales said. “Remakes are good because you have more than one of the same movies to watch. You get the best of both worlds and from there you can base your opinion from there.”

Movie fans who look forward to remakes/reboots of old favorites should be very happy in 2017. Remakes of Beauty and the Beast (which opens March 17), Baywatch, The Mummy and Power Rangers have been announced, as has a retooling of the King Kong legend, Kong: Skull Island, starring Tom Hiddleston and Oscar winner Brie Larson.

There will be a LEGO Batman movie, and another remake of The Ring. The Spider-Man franchise is being rebooted in July with Spider-Man: Homecoming with Tom Holland as the web-spinning high school student, and there is yet another Fast and the Furious sequel, The Fate of the Furious, due to open on April 14.

Remakes of old favorites or reboots of old franchises often do very well at the box office. Last year, the latest Batman reboot, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, made more than $330 million despite mostly negative reviews, and a remake of The Magnificent Seven earned more than $93 million, according to

Richard Haratine, visiting theater professor, said reboots have made their mark. He thinks people are mildly entertained, but mostly unimpressed.

“Maybe it wasn’t very effective back then and the filmmakers are giving it another shot,” Haratine wrote in an email. “I rarely think that a reboot is going to be better than its original. What it will primarily do, besides being a little prettier to watch, is make an effort to show how relevant the themes and subject matter are to us today . . . hopefully.”

According to The Guardian newspaper, 2016’s highly anticipated remake of 1984’s Ghostbusters with four of today’s most popular female comedians, became known as the last straw for remakes, earning only $128,344,089 in the United States.

The Guardian article said that critics described the film as “geek culture gone wrong,” and since then remakes have not picked up the same level of interest from older audiences. The film has become known as “a symbol of everything that’s wrong with Hollywood film-making.”

Haratine said while most reboots are simply a new presentation of an older film, the updating of time and place, and such technical aspects as editing and special effects, are where the new thrill and excitement of a remake will come from.

“It’s exciting to see if the original can withstand the test of time and be brought back and still move us the way it did then,” Haratine said. “It’s a group of nostalgics who want to revisit their early days and it’s a younger group who want to see what their parents were up to. I might go so far as to say that some people buy tickets to these movies because they want to revisit their childhood. We’ll see how long they make Hollywood money.”

Joe Brown, dean of freshman success, said finding new movie material is always a challenge but some reboots attract a younger audience rather than sticking to familiar ground.

“Basically, I think when people go to see a reboot of a movie,” Brown wrote in an email, “it may be because of the stars that have been cast in the newer version or because the technology has gotten so advanced that the newer version has so many visual effects that the technology becomes the start of the movie rather than the actors.”

Brown said he watches more live theater productions but observes that it may be the new technology that has made it easier to produce more remakes.

Jazmin Martinez, a freshman biology major, said she has mixed emotions about the whole subject.

“I like how for some movies they make them more modern and more relatable,” Martinez said. “But for some movies, they need to know when to leave it alone. Like the new Ghostbusters. What happened?”

Martinez said it makes her furious that studios can sometimes alter a remake of an old favorite so much. In the upcoming Spider-Man remake, for example, Aunt May is much younger than in previous versions of the film, and Uncle Ben is still alive, when in past remakes he has been dead.

“The new Spider-Man movie just infuriates me,” Martinez said. “How is Aunt May like thirty? It’s not like all the other movies nor true to the comics. Don’t try to play something off at what it’s not.”

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Are movie remakes a good thing?