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08/14/2003 - Demise of the Sequel
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My POV
Brian A. Wilson

THE DEMISE OF THE SEQUEL

In their never-ending quest to bet only on sure things, studios have relied on sequels to provide box-office oomph for the last 25 years or so. The modern trend was initiated by Jaws, Jaws II and Jaws 3-D, with each moving getting progressively worse.

Such is the fate of most sequels.

Finally, 25 years later, studios are realizing that sequels don't equal box-office gold.

As I spoke with studio executives the last couple of weeks, time and again they've called this summer's box office "a downturn" or said sequels and franchises "underperformed" and would have to be "re-evaluated.

The other day, one studio exec was quoted as saying that their news business model was to "pursue quality."

Only in Hollywood, eh?

The good news for all of us who write original material is, our star is on the rise.

Studios are turning to new creations, rather than rehashes of old formulas. Sure, it would be nice if they were doing so out of a desire to create better art, but then they wouldn't be studio execs. They are driven by the dollar, and they want to put up on the silver screen that which will make the largest pile of cabbage.

Due to a dismal summer and the resultant roll of heads, that means a rebirth for quality scripts.

Makes you want to sit down and start typing, doesn't it?

Go for it.

Keep writing.
BW
LA
transtexan@hotmail.com

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