Are Sequels Really Slumping At The Box Office?

While the media is freaking out over the new found disease called ‘sequelitis’, more sequels are coming to theaters this weekend. The Conjuring 2 and Now You See Me 2 are looking to be the cure for this so-called movie disease. Things are in fact looking good. The Conjuring 2 is looking to top the box office, and Now You See Me 2 is looking to be the second place. Both of the sequels this weekend are looking to shun away the lone original film, Warcraft. So, does Hollywood really have a sequel problem or is this just with sequels people never asked for?

The problem with saying that Hollywood has a sequels problem or ‘sequelitis’ is that for the most part sequels were doing pretty good at box office. Captain America: Civil War is a sequel and still managed to gather box office success. I can already hear the, ‘but that’s a Marvel movie they always do great at the box office.’ While their sequels do get plenty of money, they do still help the overall picture.

Daisy Ridley in The Force Awakens

Last year, from the top 10 movies at the box office, only 2 original films made it – The Martian and Inside Out. Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World, both sequels, were the ones to top the list.

Now, I know that this year sequels didn’t have such a kind and warming receptions. Movies that should have been favorites like X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows all fell short of success. However, all these titles have a striking similarity – they all received bad reviews. Checking the Rotten Tomatoes of each movie, the highest was Neighbors 2 with a 62% which is still a pretty low number compared to the first. The question then becomes – does it affect the audiences’ decision to go see the movie or not?

The Mad Hatter in Alice Through The Looking Glass

With the film tickets getting more and more expensive, audiences are waiting to spend that money on that excellent movie. Your average movie-goer will go to the theaters once a month, so is he looking at reviews to make their decision? I’m not saying that it will always for sure, but there must be a connection.

Franchises like Captain America, Star Wars and Jurassic Park shouldn’t have a problem in the coming years, but I would be weary of making sequels of big box office success. Audiences have developed a trust issue with sequels and critics have given them such a bad name that a sequel is no longer an easy cash grab like it once was. With everything as of now, I think it’s still safe to say that ‘sequelitis’ isn’t a contagious disease, for now.

Do you think Hollywood has sequelitis?


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