It’s an oft-heard complaint that the only movies that are made these days are sequels and remakes. And certainly that seems to be the case with the biggest movies coming out this year– Batman v SupermanCaptain America: Civil WarGhostbusters,  and the movie I just saw– Disney’s The Jungle Book. Sequels are easier to explain– a movie made money, so they make another movie with those characters and get more money. But why remake a movie? What do we gain by telling the same story again? And not simply repeating a story structure like Tolkien, Lucas, and Rowling did with the Monomyth, but actively taking a specific story and telling it again. Disney in particular seems to be remake-crazy, with many of their best (selling) movies from the official animated canon getting or have gotten live-action remakes this decade. What to we as an audience gain from telling these stories again? Some would say that it’s “bringing these stories to a new audience”, which would be a fair argument specifically for Disney because of their “Disney Vault” where they seal away their movies until a timer goes *ding* and suddenly it’s time for an anniversary edition, but for many movies you can go to Netflix or Hulu or Amazon and at the very least get a DVD in the mail. And if that fails, there’s always eBay. Why go to the trouble of funding the production of a movie that already exists?

I mean, aside from the potential return on investment.

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