Not to keep banging on the same drum you’ve heard before, but Hollywood these days is not a place where risks get taken. Major studios would rather roll the dice on a known brand, even if it fails (see “Baywatch“), than spend the same money hoping something original will pay off. And more than ever, ancillary streams of revenue are valuable, arguably moreso, than box office receipts. That said, audiences have shown a weariness for being spoonfed the same material over and over (see the domestic reception to “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales“), and the balance of bringing fresh product to market, that’s also built around an existing IP, is tricky to figure out.
Speaking with THR, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” producer Matt Tolmach gets candid about the moviemaking landscape and the challenges of giving audiences something different, but the same.
“It’s harder to get movies made. The days of taking shots and flyers on movies are gone. The challenge is to understand and accept what it is that the studios are trying to do and to figure out how to make good movies within that,” he said..” So, if the studio is now making primarily branded tentpole entertainment, what are you doing to provide that? ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle‘ was a great example of a branded piece of material I knew the studio was going to be excited about. That is the conundrum of where we’re living right now: People want what feels familiar, but they don’t want it to be familiar.”
That may seem dispiriting, and it is, but to Tolmach’s credit, not everything on his plate is branded blockbuster material. He’s also got the Scarlett Johansson led raunchy comedy “Rough Night” coming to cinemas this month. Sure, it’s cut from a very familiar cloth, but in an arena filled with one remake, sequel, or reboot after another, it’s at least something a little different.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.