You’re familiar with the major studios: Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Pictures (which includes in-house labels Marvel, Pixar, Touchstone, Hollywood and Disneynature) and Sony (whose main in-house labels are Columbia and TriStar).
MGM is another major studio, though it has fallen on hard times and releases only a handful of movies each year now — and always in partnership with some other major studio. Hence, the “Hobbit” movies begin with both the Warner Bros. and MGM logos, and in July the new “Hercules” film will carry both the Paramount and MGM logos.
You’ve probably also noticed that before a movie gets going these days, several animated logos from various production companies pop up, some of which may occasionally fool you into thinking the movie has started and maybe you’re in the wrong auditorium. Then comes a printed list of all those same companies before the title is eventually shown. That’s because movies cost so much to make now that a single studio often doesn’t have the nerve to foot the bill. Or a smaller production studio looks to a major one for distribution, as it has a wider reach.
Now, as Bill Cosby used to say, I told you that so I can tell you this: Of the 250 movies scheduled for 2014, some 150-plus will carry a major studio label. And of those, at least 50 this year are remakes or sequels. That’s a third of the majors’ output.
So here’s my point: Holy cow! That’s a lot of remakes and sequels.
And for every “Captain America” or “Amazing Spider-Man” or “Hobbit” sequel that you are anxiously anticipating, there’s also a follow-up to “Hot Tub Time Machine” or yet another in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise.
And for every “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” or “Veronica Mars” spinoff of a TV show, there’s a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or “Hercules” reboot.
Actually, there are two Hercules reboots this year. In January we got “The Legend of Hercules,” and in July we get “Hercules.” Two? Within six months of each other?
Come to think of it, there are also two “Paranormal Activity” movies this year; the fourth arrived in January, and No. 5 is scheduled for October. Two in one calendar year? How many will there be by 2020?
And some of these movies look like they’ll be both remakes and sequels! “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” anyone?
So one has to ask — do we really need another version of “Annie”? Or another reboot of “Godzilla”? Or a remake of “Endless Love”? Or another “RoboCop”?
And Frankenstein. And Dracula. No kidding: “I, Frankenstein” last January and “Dracula Untold” in October.
“Dracula Untold”? What is there left to tell?
Which is a question for many of these movies. Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." Website: hicksflicks.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org