Vanity projects and tone deafness are responsible for many box office misfires.
Steven Spielberg has said in many interviews that his West Side Story remake was something he had wanted to film for years.
Many Puerto Ricans have long considered this film stereotypical and racist in its depiction of Puerto Rican people and culture. The new West Side Story was released on December 10, 2021 to dismal box office returns (it grossed only 10 million dollars opening weekend). It cost 100 million to make. The film has received critical praise and should do well come awards season. Though the racist overtones have been overhauled, many were calling for a boycott of the film entirely. Latino Rebels film critic Cristina Escobar sums up some of the sentiment of why many moviegoers have stayed away from the film. Escobar writes; “It continues the original’s tradition of advancing a dangerous narrative even as it offers Latinx people some important opportunities. “In the end, it’s a film by and for white guys, and I’d rather watch something else.”
We don’t need 3 Willy Wonka movies. Gene Wilder was perfection as the weird and intriguing owner of a chocolate factory (1971 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory). No one asked for the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005). A cinematically pretty film, but that’s about all. There is a 3rd version currently in production, starring Timothee Chalamet called Wonka (release date 2023). This one is supposed to be an origin story. A show of hands please: Who asked for this? This film may well go on to be one of the greatest movies ever. In the meantime, can we just leave well enough alone? While we are at it, no more Peter Pan or Alice In Wonderland remakes, please.
Some filmmakers and studio execs are surrounded by their echo chambers. To the point that any idea outside of it is ignored or disregarded, even if the idea would make a film better.
Studio heads like to reboot film and TV all the time because people love familiarity and nostalgia. But, if a film or TV show was popular years ago, there is no guarantee that people will love it now. This is a…