Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2011 at 8:20 pm,

3D Movies Remakes Discussion Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

When you’re immersed in the movie business as deeply as we movie bloggers are, it can be hard to stay in tune with the shifting attitudes and opinions of the general movie going public. Of course it’s also hard getting an accurate reading on public opinion because, frankly, the attitudes of the public are often finicky and unpredictable.

So in that sense, it’s easy to understand why sometimes it’s hard not to be skeptical when movie fans complain about trends in cinema – sometimes they are voicing legitimate concerns or objections – other times, people are just parroting a popular buzz word or phrase that has taken on a certain connotation. A perfect example of this is the word “remake” and its current dirty-word connotation in the movie fan community.

Movie remakes are nothing new (Siskel and Ebert were complaining about them way back in 1976), but since the world economy has become a battlefield of increasing uncertainty, Hollywood has tried to wrestle some sense of security and certainty from the jaws of chaos, by focusing on movies that feature familiar titles and brands. The theory is that fan nostalgia is its own brand of effective marketing – though that theory is getting more and more questionable with each new movie season.

As stated, “remake” has become something of a dirty word, these days. Doesn’t matter if upset fans are using the word in proper context or not, since connotation often overrides the legitimacy of logic and accuracy. Case in point: David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which is continuously bemoaned for being an “Americanized remake,” even though it is NOT a remake of the Swedish film by Niels Arden Oplev, but rather its own, separate, interpretation of author Steig Larsson’s bestselling novel. Though Fincher’s film looks to have great potential (check out the hip teaser trailer), there is already a certain negative perception of it, since it’s thought of (incorrectly) as ‘just another stupid Hollywood remake.’

Movie Remakes Discussion Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Another dirty word that is currently being tossed around by movie fans, is “3D.” Director James Cameron dragged the stereoscopic format out of obscurity with his revolutionary movie Avatar, and he hoped (at least for awhile) that the bar he set for the use of 3D would be the high standard amongst Hollywood’s creative visionaries. What we’ve mainly gotten instead is a return to the use of 3D as a cheap gimmick (Clash of the Titans, Alice In Wonderland, Green Lantern), with few notable exceptions (Transformers 3, Final Destination 5) and even fewer 100%  enjoyable 3D movie experiences (….um, can you think of an example?).

Here’s the thing about buzz words, though: it’s often hard to tell when people have a legitimate gripe with the topic being referenced, or if that buzz word/phrase is simply the issue du jour to complain about. Despite the objections that instantly crop up when people hear the words “remake” and/or “3D” mentioned in conjunction with a new movie, it’s hard to know which films fans will ultimately avoid and which they will embrace. (This question looms large over upcoming films like Romancing The StoneShort CircuitDirty Dancing, Shark Night 3D, Underworld: Awakening 3D, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.) Strange as it seems (sarcasm), sometimes, a movie fans have complained about at great length still manages to make a disgusting amount of money (the “Transformers Paradox”).

However, recently two 3D remakes – Fright Night and Conan The Barbarian - had the distinct advantage of being the only major new releases in the later summer lineup – and both 3D remakes fell flat on their faces at the box office.

conan barbarian fright night tv spot Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Two very different 3D remakes, both box office flops.

Now don’t get me wrong: no one was expecting these two films to be major money-raking blockbuster hits. Fright Night is a remake of a campy ’80s movie that didn’t do well at the box office back in the ’80s, but found second life as a cult-classic on home video – while Conan The Barbarian is a movie that did alright at the box office, but really gained second life as a cult-classic Schwarzenegger flick. It’s not like either film had much of a bankable nostalgia factor to coast on, and as of right now, the Fright Night remake has earned a staggeringly bad worldwide gross of just $8 million (against a $30 million budget), while the new Conan is limping around with $16 million in pocket (against a bafflingly-high $90 million budget). Suffice to say: both films are flops.

The question at hand is: Are movie fans doing more than just reciting buzz words now? Are they truly tiring of high-priced 3D gimmicks and rehashed remakes to the point that they’re making a clear and distinct statement with their wallets? We won’t mention any names, but we’ve been hearing increasing word from the Hollywood sector that seems to indicate as much – and the box office numbers are there to analyze and interpret, for anybody curious. You may be surprised at how much these 3D films aren’t making.

In our Fright Night review we deemed the movie to be one of the few worthwhile remakes, even if the 3D wasn’t necessary; our Conan The Barbarian review deemed that movie to be wholly unnecessary on all fronts. So there was a difference in the quality of the respective films, in our opinion: one deserved viewers’ ticket money, the other didn’t. But both failed to draw an audience.

3D Movie Slogan Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

Maybe it was the subject matter (vampires are a worn out trend, too) or the ineffectiveness of the marketing (nothing in the trailers or TV spots for either film was particularly enticing). But maybe, just maybe, it’s simply the case that audiences are tired of seeing movies they’ve already seen before (and still remember fondly). Maybe audiences are also tired of being forced to pay considerably more for an often unsatisfying effect gimmick. As much as I enjoyed the film, my $17 Fright Night 3D experience would’ve been better as a $10 2D experience.

We now pose the question to you guys: Let us you know where you currently stand in regards to the issue of movie remakes and 3D. Who knows, maybe somebody in Hollywood will actually listen to what it is you have to say…

Image Sources: Header Image courtesy of EZ Mode Unlocked; Movie Remakes image courtesy of Red Carpet Refs

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  1. Remakes, Yes.
    Reboots, Yes.
    Re-Imaginings, Yes.
    3D movies, Yes.

    Movies shot in 3D, No.

  2. Alot of it probably also has to do why pay $40 for you and significant other to go to the movies and for popcorn and a coke to drink, when you can rent a movie and buy a pizza for $15.

  3. Its called talent & its very much an unknown entity in Hollywood. The only two movies I’ve seen in the past two years that I would actually call good were Hereafter & The Ghost Writer and even those barely qualify.

    Where’s the creative writing & cinematography with style & theme. Maybe if they had to go back to black & white, real film & simple single lens cameras somebody would remember this is a for real art form. Roman Polanski & Clint Eastwood are the only ones who seem to get it but neither of them have much talent.

    Watch The Hustler & tell me one movie that’s been made since 1975 that has that kind of style, grit or substance. Ok, an AMERICAN movie, there are some but none of them are ours, the best ones are coming from China & they are quite good, its almost worth learning Mandarin or Cantonese. But everyone here is too comedy out & has access to way to much money to even try these days.

    It sucks because I really like movies & I wish there were some good ones that were relevant.

    • Exceptions: Syriana was one of the best films ever made & Clerks was a stylistic masterpiece. Laugh if you want, that’s a visual statement of art on the highest level made for fifty bucks.

  4. Although I find the “Please, No More Remakes” sign funny with the stressed out kid, you guys are trippin…

    The world can always use remakes. Just not sh*tty or campy ones. Look at Batman, the man got real justice on his remake. And there’s more I just don’t feel like mentioning…

    Remakes are bad if they are done right, and not so often. But yes, I agree we need material or new stories. But DC and Marvel Should live forever in the theater….

    • Except Batman Begins was a reboot, not a remake (there’s a difference).

  5. In short we the general public are viewed as nothing more than consumers hence the name they the corporation and hidden PR companies brand us with, whose one purpose these days is to veer our intelligent thinking down the drain so we become mindless consumers. On topic I just hope people will stand up and stop paying 3D movies that are not really 3D, if you are going to pay for a horrible yet real 3D movie at least you paid for the real thing.

  6. I stopped paying for 3D after about 5 or 6 disappointing experiences and I don’t go back anymore. Remakes for me can be ok but look at three recent examples from Tim Burton, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Here you have a director with an undeniably amazing artistic vision who took three films and bought nothing new to the table in terms of story telling and characters but tried to stamp the film with his own ‘vision’ which for me didn’t work. Alice in Wonderland did try to take a different approach on the classic tale but it didn’t have any substance and just walked from CGI scene to CGI scene in a world that just felt stylistically to try-hard. Sometimes you just expect more from directors and Hollywood.

  7. I’m not usually one for remakes or reboots but there are some movies that have been great that were remakes. And I’m actually watching an Eastwood movie that could be a great remake: Firefox; with special effects being what they are today, a remake of that movie (which is quite good for its day) could be great.

  8. I work as a manager at a movie theater and can see movies for free and never see a 3D if I don’t have too. It has been nothing but a cheap gimmick to me and a way of getting more money from the costumer. I have yet to see it actually add depth and usually it gives me a slight headache if the movie is over 90 minutes. My theater now usually carries a 2D copy of each 3D movie we get and time and again the 2D versions far out see the 3D ones. When given the choice I think most people would rather not pay the extra money for something that only burdens the movie going experience.

    • As a movie goer, I completely agree with your statement Nathaniel.
      After a handful of disappointing experiences with 3d movies; supposed blockbusters. I now research and try to find a theater showing a 2d version of the latest 3d movie and opt to go there instead.
      Aside from the added price, I tend to feel a little disoriented at the start of the film, and also develop a slight headache toward the end of it. Not worth a few poorly done 3d special effects.

  9. The originals are pretty much always the best. Pure genius, real creativity has pretty much disappeared in Hollywood. M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening and Signs were good but than he is hit or miss -many of Shyamalan’s movies suck.

    I would like to see somebody redo They Live (but done well).

    The remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still (Stopped) with Kenu Reeves sucked – and I’m a big fan of Reeves.

    Oh sure the special effects can’t be beat but the pure heart the soul of the movie, the complexity is lost with most of the remakes.

    Michael Rennie was way better than Reeves as Klaatu – no comparison.

    While watching the originals, our tech has come so far that most of the originals are dated, and yet I find myself drawn to them not for the special effects so much as the superbe acting, real creativity and again – the heart, the soul that seems to have pretty much died and replaced with fancy but empty effects.

    I would also like to see Blood Red Road by Moira Young done right. Hear there is a possible movie in the works.

    It’s too bad that Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock are no longer with us because the newer ones in hollywood just don’t make movies like they use to.

    They now have resorted to juvenile gore and violence instead of intellect and creative imagination.

    • VERY WELL stated! That is my point exactly! Most of these remakes are devoid of the heart of the original. Maybe the money hungry honchos of Hollywood think that remakes are a quick sell but maybe the intelligent movie-going public will soon get wise and choose originality?

    • I agree with almost everything you said. The only difference would be The Happening; I thought that was a horrible movie but tastes vary.

  10. Are Audiences Tired of Remakes & 3D Movies?

    I never knew a time when they were untired of 3d movies. There is (IMO) a difference in a 3d Movie and a Movie made in 3d. Very few films are (again IMO) are a 3d movie. I can think of Avatar. That was a 3D movie.

    Before anyone jumps in and says any movie can be 3D…well yes but if you are going to pay extra for something it has to be extra not just the norm. Once it becomes the norm it is no longer special.

    3D movies should be few and far between and made around it being 3D.

    To the point of remakes. My son laughs at some of our so called ‘originals’. Even if they were not meant to be laughed at. They are at time so dated (even if they are a period piece…for that period) I have to chuckle also.

    To be tired of remakes you have to have seen the original in its originality. For example Fright Nights remake is not portrayed to be in the 80s. (havent seen it) It seems to be a current take on the 80s movie. So then is it a remake or a reboot? I mean they use the same character (types) but it is made in a different time. Much like Spiderman was rebooted why cant a stand alone movie?

    People are tired of remakes/reboots because quite frankly they suck. I dont go into a movie to compare it to its original copy. I watch a movie to be entertained. If I am not entertained im going to state the movie sucked. It has no bearing if it is a remake or not. Why cant the remake be just as or even more entertaining then the first?

    To be fair you must identify what a remake is. Is Batman Begins a remake of Batman which is a remake of the Adam West Batman movie being a remake of the… you get it?

    So is it REALLY a remake if the film is changed in some aspect that changes the feel for the movie? (see Fright Night)

    I think people in general are just unsatisfied with the output of the product in general not if it is a remake or in 3D.

    I can list out a ton of remakes……
    True Lies
    Little Shop of Horrors
    The Birdcage
    The Ring
    His Girl Friday
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    Oceans 11

    etc and so forth. Did you enjoy them (if you did) because it was a well done movie, you enjoyed the subject matter etc. or did you enjoy them because they were a remake?

    If done correctly (for example His Girl Friday and The Front Page) the remakes are jsut as good if not better then the original they can be watched back to back and enjoyed all the same.

    So in closing people are getting tired of crappy movies. Nothing more nothing less.

    • Aknot you totally just mind F’ed me.

      Oceans 11 is a remake ?

      Just goes to show Remakes can be pretty darn good.

      • Thats the thing if its a well done movie people are not going to even care if it is a remake.

        The issue becomes when the movie (more times then not) sucks. People will jump on the band wagon of it need not have been made, dont make more remakes, why cant there be more original stuff, etc. Because they are looking pass the fact that it still didnt entertain them. Dont bash it cause it is a remake… bash it for all the right reasons…the director, the acting, the writing,… it sucked.

        That new Karate Kid…. People (at least based on money) loved it. I thought it sucked. Regardless if it was a remake or not.

      • Another remake that I greatly myself was the Italian Job. The origial featured Micheal Cane as the main character & the reamke features Mark Walburge. Both talented men in their own respect & both put out 2 great versions of the movie.

  11. With these two remakes of CONAN and FRIGHT NIGHT, I’m not sure what the deal is. Are people really sick of remakes, 3D or being forced to have to pay for 3D? I say that because with these two remakes, screening times in my region in the first two weeks, the theaters seemed forced by the studios to show mostly the 3D versions of the films. Seriously.

    Each day since opening, there have been only 2 times a day that you could catch a 2D version of these films. 3:40pm and 9:40pm. I think the consumer may have very well spoken with their wallet on this issue.

    Admittedly, it’s hard to figure out if no one was interested in the movies themselves, being remakes and all, or if the consumer actually, finally spoke about the premise that they don’t need 3D.

    A film with a good story, isn’t afraid to have equal screenings of both 2 and 3D. I think the studios choked on this one, and hurt the consumer by not letting us have the option to have as many 2D screenings as we’d like to choose from.

    3D has its place. Animated features and heavy CGI infested movies are awesome platforms for 3D. Live action 3D seems to be a waste of everyone’s time.

    ‘Nuff said.

  12. I am a huge movie buff. I absolutely love movies for all reasons, specifically story telling and entertainment. Regardless of the movie, I don’t usually see 3D b/c I hate spending that extra money, especially since most of the time its just not worth it. I feel that Hollywood isn’t getting what they used to b/c of the economy and so they make up for it with this 3D nonsense. Also, they use the big movies to get that extra money like Harry Potter. Why offer that in 3D? There wasn’t much in that movie that required 3D. I preferred to see the movie for the story and visual elements, but I am not interested in enhancing, or in this case damaging, the experience. Most people just wait for DVD to see a movie b/c most movies aren’t even worth seeing in the theater anymore.

    Another note, Hollywood is getting lazy. I AM sick of remakes. Dirty Dancing? Really? Romancing the Stone? Really? As the article said, Fright Night wasn’t even that great the first time around (but it did freak me out the first time around, lol). Not only are they remaking 80′s movies, but they are taking many books onto the screen. For this, I do not mind as much out of respect to the writers, however, more times than not, the movies are NEVER as good as the books are. I always read the books before I see the movie. I should probably stop doing that b/c I only get disappointed. I find if I see the movie first, I like it, then I read the book and like it even more.

    As people mentioned before about directors. Directors certainly make a difference. Personally, I believe Alfred Hitchcock was pure genius. The way he told the story. I mean who kills your star half way through the movie? He was master of suspense and no one can recapture his brilliance.

    I will continue to see movies, most from the Redbox, but I go to movies weekly b/c I love movies. In fact, today I’m going to see One Day. yes, I’m a chick and love chick flicks.

    • >Harry Potter. Why offer that in 3D? There wasn’t much in that movie that >required 3D.

      No, you’re right. There wasn’t. Warner Bros being the money grabbing scum suckers that they are, decided to put it out so they could break the billion dollar mark, which they would’ve only done around the 900 million mark. It is not a 3-D film, there’s no reason for it to be in 3-D, other than to make extra money. They ruined the whole series by putting it in 3-D. The only positive I can say about it is that I’m glad they didn’t have time to transfer the first part. On Blu Ray we can enjoy them the way teh were made, in 2-D!

  13. I think that there’s about 3 or 4 major reasons why people aren’t that interested in going to movies as much as they used to. The economy is a little to obvious so I’ll just leave that be.

    So my first reason is the choice between 2D & 3D. 2D will never go out of style because let’s face it it’s everywhere, but 3D on the other hand is something that’s only to be used by true professionals who actually have a plan for it. James Cameron actually built his movie Avatar around 3D instead of just making a movie & randomly tossing 3D where it didn’t need to be. IMO that’s how a 3d movie should be made it’s actually a concept that they use for certian theme park atractions like the 3D Spider-man & Terminator rides. Without the 3D there is no ride so too that’s how a 3D movie should be. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be an enjoyable story, but that the story itself should be great & with the inclusion of 3D it should be even more spectacular. This would make the choice between a “good” 2D version & an “epic” 3D version a no brainer making the aditional $7-$10 price increase seem worth it. But since the choices are to see a “meh ok” 2D version & a “this is a b******* waste of cash” version people tend to stay home, wait for it on cheaper Netflix/Redbox, or just on the completely free Youtube.

    The second reason is probably remakes/reboots. While they can be something special & fun for the next generation & could breath new life into a dead franchise leaving room for creative sequals that never existed before (Ocean’s 11 series). But the problem is that these remakes are becoming too many too soon without much creativity. As someone said earlier most of these remakes are coming from the 80′s which is only about 30 years ago. That means that these movies are being targeted at younger audiences that may or may not have seen or remember the original. By doing this they single out adults who grew up with all these movies & just want to watch a new story unfold that wasn’t wasn’t already being told when they were kids. Reboots have become so frequent that they’re now starting to restart franchises that haven’t even fully reached the 5 year mark let alone just a 10 or 20 year mark (Spider-Man, Batman, The Crow, Evil Dead franchise etc). I mean I don’t mind if something’s remade or brought back for the sake of doing better or to update it a bit just as long as it’s not remade from a movie that just came out a week ago.

    My third reason is advertizing (or in some cases lack there of). Not only have movies changed but so has the way that they’re advertized. The teasers of movies are supposed to be exciting sneak peeks for upcoming movies. They’re ment to give a quick & intriguing glimps of things to come, but lately they’ve been mostly misrepresentations that actually throw a person off from what it’s actually supposed to be about. It seems Hollywood has gotten the strange idea that it’s better to glorify & showboat movies that are bound to fail, but underrate movies that have more of a potential for success. In the end usually movies that deserve it gain their recognition, but other movies that have been pretty descent get tossed aside like a dirty rag.

    My final reason that can probably be split into to is creativity & where it’s gone to. As we all know movies now a days have a strong lack of creavtivity wheather it be a remake or an actual original idea (which seems very rare now). Instead of creating new movies with great stories & stelar performances the studio executives decide to give us movies based on special effects with little to no story, & studio manufactured “talent” (i.e. WWE stars, Disney stars, Models, Singers/Rappers etc). At one time (not so long ago) almost every movie seemed well thought out & some of the those that turned out to be the worst are still able to be considered to be better than some of todays best. So what the hell happened to all the talent, I mean like I said it wasn’t that long ago that there were pretty good movies all the time. Well the answer is comic books & video games. Comic books were once just for super heroes that run around in undies over their tights, but now comics cover just about every demographic which leaves room for just about anyone with a nice idea & do very well. The same goes for videogames which is basically a combination between comic books & movies. Many games being made have stories that seem like they’d make pretty badass movies (God of War, WET, Halo, etc, etc). Yes some of these movies have been transfered over to cgi & live action forms, but none of the feature films have been able to generate nearly as much of a success as the source material, which seems odd especially since Movies started off with special effects before games even had a chance to get away from it’s blocky beginings. Well it’s because VG’s are nothing but special effects with a story behind them that they’re able to topple over movies especially since the graphics are now starting to resemble actual reality which is once again something movies have somewhat failed at in some cases. Videogames are basically the more impresive versions of a movie giving the viewer control of the protagonist & sometimes even the antagonist of the game leaving room for not just one but multiple stories from multiple points of view. This leaves more creative writting room for VG’s than movies.

  14. I absolutely hate 3D movies. I tried it twice, I hated it both times. I will never watch another 3D movie again. If a movie I want to see is only in 3D then I go home.

  15. Would like to have seen Fright Night as I enjoyed the original and the revues were fairly good but unfortunatly all the Cinemas in my area were only showing the 3d version. So no choice, no ticket sale.

  16. I can’t help think about WB/DC rebooting Batman,Superman films. I mean Green Lantern was the first different hero to be seen since Steel but the people of-course didn’t like it as much because that film was rushed. Not to mention wasn’t long enough of a film imo for a great Green Lantern film. I do hope they still plan to make Flash, Wonder Woman films aswell other heroes from DC Comics other than Batman/Superman. Id love to see WB/DC make their films share a universe as Marvel Studio’s films.

  17. hi there yeah i have a cheap 3d movie i rent 3d movies from comcast video on demand in 3d movie is only $6.99 and mspot on my 3d lg thrill 3d phone 3d movie is also $6.99 per movie soo why go too a mall and spend $40 per 3d movie just buy 3d movie on a 3d cellphone or a 3d vod service way cheaper hulu plus netflix and block buster and vudu will release streaming 3d movies too

  18. 1) I hate 3D and so does my girlfriend. On a number of occasions my girlfriend and I have thought about seeing a movie but when we are in the lobby of the theater and realize the movies we are interested in seeing are all in 3D we have decided not to see a movie. Aside from Avatar where the 3D was done well (although personally I think it was overkill the movie would have been fine without 3D) all 3D movies I have seen were poor 3D experiences, so poor that I don’t even recall any of the scenes being in 3D. I don’t like wearing glasses because it is uncomfortable and it makes the movie appear really dark. My girlfriend wears glasses/contacts and I think that makes it an even worse experience for her.

    2) Nothing worthwhile being shown – a few weekends this year I was interested in seeing a movie, but there was nothing my girlfriend or I wanted to see playing. Seems like a really bad year for movies.

    3) Too many remakes – For example I love the classic movie Total Recall and I didn’t want to see a remake of it because I’ve seen many bad remakes of movies I’ve loved in the past. Not all remakes are bad but about 90% of them are so I don’t want to spend $13+ to find out if they are bad or not, especially if I have to pay $3 extra for crappy 3D on top of the normal price.

    4) Most movies I’ve seen in recent years have absolutely sucked: The 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie was one of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen, I absolutely hated X3 (although the first two X-men movies were excellent), etc. After being burned wasting my hard-earned cash on horrible movies like those I am much more hesitant to spend $13+ on seeing a movie. The only movie I was planning to see was The Hobbit, I figured it would be a great movie as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy but reading the poor reviews on Metacritic I’m not even sure I want to see that one now either.

    I mostly entertain myself these days by playing video games and watching old movies and tv shows at home which seem to be much better quality than most movies made these days.

  19. Have yet to see any 3D movie that benefited from it, and the “2D” releases of 3D movies frankly blow.

    The last Spiderman movie was riddled with scenes that had no cinematic sense – like one featuring a set depth of 10 feet, with the foreground overly sharp and the background so blurry that it may as well not have been there. WHO NEEDS 3D IN AN INTERIOR SCENE WHEN ALL THE PLAYERS ARE HUMAN SCALE?

    Any decent cinematographer should know how and when to use selective focus- and WHEN NOT TO. You’d think that a film with a $100M budget could afford to hire one.

  20. To answer the title question: YES. Holy crap YES!

  21. “We now pose the question to you guys: Let us you know where you currently”

    Jesus, man…Hire a proof reader. I noticed several mistakes similar to the one quoted above and this article is two years old. Fix it already.

    Yes, we are tired of cheap tricks and we are tired of Hollywood molesting movies we loved as kids.

    I hope RoboCop flops and serves to illustrate this point even further.