Have you ever seen an indie film?

Remakes and sequels have taken over the film industry. It’s time to give independent films a chance.


Evanthia Stirou

Shown above is Mulan from 2020 compared to the Mulan from 1998.

Alex McLemore, Staff Writer

“Hey, have you seen the new Spiderman movie?”

This winter season, the long anticipated third installment of the MCU’s Spiderman hit the box office. As reported by Hollywood Report, the film accumulated $600.8 million dollars in the worldwide debut. The film is now the third highest opening of all time.

That is why the answer to the above question is, “yes.”

Let’s think hypothetical for a minute. If this movie had all of the “box office boom,” then what was left for the other movies?

The major studios in Hollywood are all abiding by the same motto: Reduce, reuse and recycle.

Recently, the industry has taken this saying too literally. All the major movies seem to be remakes or reinstallments, but matter of fact, when it comes to all movies made everywhere, it is quite the opposite. Data from Stephen Follows suggests that between 2015-2019, only 4.5% of all movies were remakes.

This seems like a seemingly low number right? The major discrepancy is because of the box office.

Today you can make a movie and send it out to smaller sites or even put it on YouTube, but you can’t just send it to the movie theaters. The films that don’t make it to the theaters are deemed “indie films.” Therefore the reason we feel that remakes have taken over the film industry is because we aren’t seeing these “indie films.”

There are so many amazing indie films just floating around, so why not go and watch an original rather than watch Spiderman fight all of the villains he has already fought in the eight previous films?

The industry is elbowing out the new ideas to be replaced by the same old same old, and it’s time consumers speak up.

In 2018, the top 10 highest-grossing films consisted of eight remakes or reinstallments and two original films.

As a society we have shown these major studios that we will support these reinstallments rather than support a new cinema. Are we the problem? Or have the studios developed avarice?

I’m afraid we can’t blame a single party because in fact, we are both at fault.

When we get attached to an original film, we demand the producers to make another installment, we demand not to kill off our favorite characters. And of course, the producers listen because keeping us happy means more money for them.

A leading player in the film industry is none other than the creator of our favorite childhood mouse, Disney.

In November 2019, Disney released their own streaming platform, Disney+. With this release, they advertised several new remakes which would be exclusive to the platform such as Lady and the Tramp and Mulan.

Disney has been in the film industry since 1934 and after 60 years, they created their first remake, The Jungle Book. Since 1994, Disney has released 16 remakes of their classic stories. Since 2014, Disney has released at least one remake per year; with the exception of 2019 where they released four remakes consisting of Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Lady and the Tramp.

As the data shows, remakes have skyrocketed in popularity. Has Disney run out of Hans Christian Andersen stories to rip off? If so I’d suggest Disney find a new source of ideas. As for us, we need to credit up-and-coming films or indie flicks because frankly, the industry has gotten boring.

I interviewed a group of 206 people ranging from ages 12-48 and asked them the same question, “Have you ever watched an indie film?”

Does it surprise you that 56% of the people said they didn’t even know what an indie film was or didn’t know where to watch them? Surprisingly enough, this was not the most shocking percentage. The outlier which I didn’t predict was that 25% of people said they had seen an indie film. This means that one in four people have watched an indie film. The last feedback was the “no’s”: 19% of people said they have never seen an indie movie.

If you’re a part of the 75% of people who have never seen an indie film and want to stop watching remakes, then take note.

You can start by not demanding anything of the film industry. We get remakes when we whine over the death or the ending of our favorite character’s story. While yes, it is incredibly sad to know you have just watched the last of your favorite character, I can assure you that another will come around.

My favorite character for years was Katniss Everdeen. I was devastated when the franchise came to an end, but it is now apparent that it was for the best. Of course the love for the character still remains; however, if I stayed watching the same thing with the same characters then I would have no diversity in terms of film. I now know there will be other characters that will inspire me other than Katniss.

I also love characters such as Spiderman. I know you probably think I’m some weirdo who doesn’t like Spiderman, but I do. I love Marvel, but I don’t think it is the only film franchise worth watching. I think you can love major films and indie films at the same time, they are not mutually exclusive.

I urge you all to watch an Indie film, especially those of you who have never watched one.

You can find some Indie films floating around on YouTube or on everyone’s favorite cable TV killer, Netflix. Just get out there and find something new to watch.