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08.26.2016by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Ways Hollywood Can Fix Summer Movies

As the 2016 summer movie season winds to a close, audiences are left feeling a bit underwhelmed. For the third year in a row, the summer movies have failed to live up to the potential we are used to seeing on the big screen. Whether it be because of sequel or remake fatigue or something else entirely, the studios have to fix this problem and fix it soon. Here are our ten suggestions on how Hollywood can fix the summer movie season. Let us know if you agree or have other ideas by putting your comments in the talk backs below.

#10 - More PG and R, less PG-13

Looking at the summer movie season, 12 films were rated PG-13 while 4 were PG and another 4 were rated R. Of the top ten films, only two carried ratings other than PG-13. The problem is that those films intended for audiences around 13 are more often than not pushing the boundaries of the rating but are sacrificing something to try to appeal to larger audiences. If DEADPOOL proved anything, there is a market for movies that kids should not see. So, why not go for broke and deliver better mature films rather than watered down products to appeal to wider audiences?

#9 - Better events

When the original INDEPENDENCE DAY was released in 1996, it was a spectacle. Summer movie season used to be all about massive event blockbusters like ARMAGEDDON and STAR WARS, but now the films are all very formulaic and similar. We need more movies like MAD MAX FURY ROAD and GLADIATOR, movies that still follow the Hollywood recipe but use more unique ingredients.

#8 - More counter-programming

Every weekend in the summer, there are big movies debuting. But, often there is one massive movie and another one or two medium size features. Studios are afraid to lose money by putting their movies against one another. So, why not give us a comedy or horror option opposite a superhero spectacle. Or, if a family movie debuts, why not give the adults something to watch. And vice versa. The key is not to release two comic book movies on the same day, but give audiences something worthwhile to check out. Some may even go in for a double feature.

#7 - More diverse genres

This summer saw quite a few action movies released, but the number of comedies was lacking. What movies like SAUSAGE PARTY proved is that adults will go see movies that are made especially for them. Animated films typically dominate the market but are aimed at kids. Why not make more cartoons for adults? Or action films for kids? How about scary movies appropriate for all audiences? Instead of stereotyping audiences, studios should be giving us more diverse types of films so that every weekend at the movies doesn't feel like the weekend before.

#6 - More throwbacks

One of the biggest hits of the summer didn't even debut on the big screen. Netflix's Stranger Things became a phenomenon thanks to a mix of 1980s films like POLTERGEIST, STARMAN, and E.T. What Stranger Things proved is that there is still a large fan base for stories that mix adventure and chills without being a massive tentpole feature. We need more movies like SUPER 8 and THE GOONIES which can appeal to all ages. The problem is studios don't seem to be willing to risk their money on untested products. If they did, they may be surprised what they find.

#5 - Less revealing trailers

When the trailers for SUICIDE SQUAD debuted, everyone was convinced the movie was going to be too big to fail. Then, we heard rumors that all of the excitement was as a result of a cleverly edited trailer. Where was the Joker? What happened to all of those scenes? Studies keeps showing that audiences want to see more spoilers in their trailers but I refuse to believe it. Teasers are the best way to get audiences salivating for a movie (see 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE as a brilliant example) and they don't have to give everything away. Teasing us is better than giving us the plot for free.

#4 - More practical effects

So many special effects this summer were CGI that it started to feel like every movie was being filmed in front of a green screen. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS proved that practical effects can make a movie feel more realistic and that pulls viewers in more than spaceships and ghosts that look like cartoons. While practical effects may be less cost effective, they do result in movies that stand up better to repeated viewings. There are only so many times you can watch cities destroyed on screen before everything looks exactly the same.

#3 - Less sequels and remakes

Of the top 20 films this summer, only 5 were original ideas not based on an existing property. That means everything else was either a sequel or a remake. Reboots may have finally seen the end of their viability as movies since we are all getting very tired of the same thing over and over again. I am not opposed to sequels or remakes because when they are done well (FINDING DORY and CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR), they can be very good. But for every movie that is good, you have films like ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE that just don't work.

#2 - Stop locking in release dates

Studios are so concerned about competition, they are reserving slots for movies years in advance. I understand that everyone wants to unveil their film during holiday weekends and prime summer real estate is limited, but the moment you lock in a movie to a specific date, you have started a countdown. That means that the filmmaker is handcuffed in regards to shooting schedules and post-production that could hamper the final product. STAR TREK BEYOND ended up being a really good movie, but Paramount was so determined for it to come out in celebration of the franchise's 50th anniversary, it almost ended up like SPECTRE: a film that felt like a product rather than a movie.

#1 - More original content

As I said before, this summer was dominated by sequels and remakes. You have to go back at least 5 years for a summer season that had more than 10 of the top 20 films that were not sequels or remakes. Each year, these movies are making less and less money because audiences are getting tired of seeing the same thing again and again. Marvel Studios has gotten the formula down by ensuring they get the top talent involved for each of their movies but that also are maintaining a half dozen franchises instead of one over and over again. Movies need to show us something we have never seen before but they keep rehashing what worked last year. Audiences know what they want and it is stories that stand apart and until we get what we want, studios are going to keep scratching their heads when the finished product doesn't stand up to the potential they saw in it.

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10:46PM on 08/28/2016

Dream On

There are no new ideas in Hollywood and those that come fail. Some of your list wasredundant so it really wasn't a 10 spot. Hollywood now is driven by the PC police, every movie has to be all inclusive. Fantastic Four was a perfect example, had to get minorities in there and destroy the comic set up. All the good reviews of Ghost Busters are another example, Woman power even though it is males that drive the box office. And of course if you disagree your sexist, homophobic or racist. No one
There are no new ideas in Hollywood and those that come fail. Some of your list wasredundant so it really wasn't a 10 spot. Hollywood now is driven by the PC police, every movie has to be all inclusive. Fantastic Four was a perfect example, had to get minorities in there and destroy the comic set up. All the good reviews of Ghost Busters are another example, Woman power even though it is males that drive the box office. And of course if you disagree your sexist, homophobic or racist. No one wants to see a movie to be politically correct. Anyone who gave Ghost Busters a rating above 7 was either PC or wanted to have access to stars in the system. If you want to save summer, be brave and write and cast what you fill, don't try to fill in the blanks and end up bland.
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+0
12:42PM on 08/28/2016

Duh?

How about the simplest solution: STOP SCHEDULING ALL THE DECENT MOVIES DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS! I know referring to "the way it used to be done" turns most people off immediately, but he'll IT WORKED! In a time before global warming when we had actual seasons, so too did we have seasonal movies. Ya know Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring and traditional movie fare for holidays? Halloween had HORROR movies! Christmas had Christmas theed movies. I remember when espionage themes like James Bond were a
How about the simplest solution: STOP SCHEDULING ALL THE DECENT MOVIES DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS! I know referring to "the way it used to be done" turns most people off immediately, but he'll IT WORKED! In a time before global warming when we had actual seasons, so too did we have seasonal movies. Ya know Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring and traditional movie fare for holidays? Halloween had HORROR movies! Christmas had Christmas theed movies. I remember when espionage themes like James Bond were a FALL-type movies. Love stories and inspirational movies were Spring or Fall depending on the storyline. And SUMMMER was the home of ACTION and kids movies! Case in point: THE NICE GUYS was an exceptionally good comedy-detective noir movie. It opened against NEIGHBORS 2:SORORITY RISING, THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE & CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR. Annnnnnd everyone wonders why it was a box office "disappointment". Kids and action movie junkies DON'T want to go to a movie they have to actually LISTEN to and,GOD FORBID, follow the plot. And I'm not one of those "GET OFF MY LAWN!" types, I was wearing a homemade Carl Kolchack(anyone remember him?) to ORIGINAL Star Trek conventions when they started! I owned the original DC&Marvel comics and dreamed of the day The Avengers would grace the big screen. I have a picture with GENE RODDENBERRY and ME from the '60's!(I know, I'm old and lost all credibility now. Screw ya'll and GET OF MY LAWN!) Anyway, Hollywood wonders why good movies fail to meet expectations? Try common sense and either release movies OVER the year or spread the "BLOCKBUSTERS" out over the Summer. Everyone profits then. They can't ALL be THE AVENGERS. The Avengers had a fan base over FIFTY YEARS in the making folks. Try the "Seasonal" movie idea Hollywood, what could it hurt? Remember, "If it ain't broke,don't fix it."
'Nuff said.
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+0
7:54PM on 08/27/2016
Less revealing trailers? How about less revealing movie sites? Even if I don't watch trailers online and skip all the trailer articles, that start with "hey look at the teaser", hey look at the first trailer", "hey look at this 30 minute breakdown of the first trailer", "come watch this second trailer" "oh my, the international trailer shows even more footage, yay", I'm still forced to read the headlines that reveal surprise cameos or the day after the movie is out, spoils the big twist. And
Less revealing trailers? How about less revealing movie sites? Even if I don't watch trailers online and skip all the trailer articles, that start with "hey look at the teaser", hey look at the first trailer", "hey look at this 30 minute breakdown of the first trailer", "come watch this second trailer" "oh my, the international trailer shows even more footage, yay", I'm still forced to read the headlines that reveal surprise cameos or the day after the movie is out, spoils the big twist. And no it's not like "hey this is the twist" but more of "That surprise reveal was a lousy twist" with a thumbnail of the character who's real identity should be a surprise.
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2:50PM on 08/27/2016
More throwbacks? Super 8 just felt like a movie that wanted to be as special as a Spielberg film like Close Encounters and ET, but it had about half the heart and impact of those films. You can't just emulate classic films and expect them to be good, and although you're entitled to your opinion, I really have to disagree with you on the merit of something like Super 8.
More throwbacks? Super 8 just felt like a movie that wanted to be as special as a Spielberg film like Close Encounters and ET, but it had about half the heart and impact of those films. You can't just emulate classic films and expect them to be good, and although you're entitled to your opinion, I really have to disagree with you on the merit of something like Super 8.
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5:38PM on 08/27/2016
It did nothing for me. It looked like an old Spielberg film, but that's where the similarities ended. There was no magic or heart to it. Plus, it had a ton of CGI, which is something that people complain about in comic book movies and reboots, but seem to forget about with films like this.
It did nothing for me. It looked like an old Spielberg film, but that's where the similarities ended. There was no magic or heart to it. Plus, it had a ton of CGI, which is something that people complain about in comic book movies and reboots, but seem to forget about with films like this.
3:07PM on 08/27/2016
Super 8 has been the closest thing recently that has gotten anywhere CLOSE to original classics of the past, so I really enjoyed it. It was a breath of fresh air in this shitty film funk we've been in the last 16 years it seems.
Super 8 has been the closest thing recently that has gotten anywhere CLOSE to original classics of the past, so I really enjoyed it. It was a breath of fresh air in this shitty film funk we've been in the last 16 years it seems.
11:45AM on 08/27/2016

While I agree, it won't happen

As long as audiences are stupid and CONTINUE to throw money at studios for mediocre garbage like Suicide Squad, super hero movies, Fast and Furious 20, Transformers, this bull shit will never stop. There will NEVER be another Goonies or 80's throwback type flick that is small in scale compared to cities being crashed down.

People will continue to keep there "turn off your brain" mentality when it comes to movies, but I would argue mainstream audiences have their brains turned off 24/7. TV
As long as audiences are stupid and CONTINUE to throw money at studios for mediocre garbage like Suicide Squad, super hero movies, Fast and Furious 20, Transformers, this bull shit will never stop. There will NEVER be another Goonies or 80's throwback type flick that is small in scale compared to cities being crashed down.

People will continue to keep there "turn off your brain" mentality when it comes to movies, but I would argue mainstream audiences have their brains turned off 24/7. TV is now the top dog when it comes down to a VARIED spectrum of original, groundbreaking entertainment. Netflix, HBO, Amazon all hear what people are saying are releasing things for everyone (all might not be fantastic, but better than our summer movie bullshit).
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12:28AM on 08/27/2016

It's not a Hollywood problem...

... it's a movie audience problem. Hollywood will start making more original movies once people start to go and see them in theaters. Until then, all original content will stay on Netflix and On Demand while the theaters will be exclusively for comic book movies and Star Wars.

It's sad but true.
... it's a movie audience problem. Hollywood will start making more original movies once people start to go and see them in theaters. Until then, all original content will stay on Netflix and On Demand while the theaters will be exclusively for comic book movies and Star Wars.

It's sad but true.
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4:53PM on 08/26/2016

Nah

Most of the stuff you put here will appease cinema lovers, but would make little difference in the mainstream. The real key sounds obvious, but Hollywood proved otherwise. The movie needs to both BE good and be marketed well. Jason Bourne was not good enough to have strong word of mouth. Star Trek was good, but was not marketed well. Both elements need to be in place, unless you're Michael Bay, for some reason.
Most of the stuff you put here will appease cinema lovers, but would make little difference in the mainstream. The real key sounds obvious, but Hollywood proved otherwise. The movie needs to both BE good and be marketed well. Jason Bourne was not good enough to have strong word of mouth. Star Trek was good, but was not marketed well. Both elements need to be in place, unless you're Michael Bay, for some reason.
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11:46AM on 08/27/2016
Star Trek was a very bland 3rd part of the series. It felt like the actors were all just "there" doing their part. Not much happened in the movie. Very point A, to B, to C movie.
Star Trek was a very bland 3rd part of the series. It felt like the actors were all just "there" doing their part. Not much happened in the movie. Very point A, to B, to C movie.
4:39PM on 08/26/2016

This is blue sky thinking

Everyone says "we want more original content" but, let's face it, most moviegoers don't flock to theatres to see original movies. Otherwise, SNOWPIERCER would have been bigger than AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

However, I will agree that Pixar has no excuse for so many sequels when they're cranking out great movies like INSIDE OUT.
Everyone says "we want more original content" but, let's face it, most moviegoers don't flock to theatres to see original movies. Otherwise, SNOWPIERCER would have been bigger than AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

However, I will agree that Pixar has no excuse for so many sequels when they're cranking out great movies like INSIDE OUT.
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+1
2:18PM on 08/26/2016
While I agree with this statement, I don't think WARCRAFT is a good example. I doubt the orcs would've looked realistic with practical effects. Specially during the fights with humans.
While I agree with this statement, I don't think WARCRAFT is a good example. I doubt the orcs would've looked realistic with practical effects. Specially during the fights with humans.
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1:09PM on 08/26/2016

"Less sequels and remakes"

*Fewer
*Fewer
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10:11AM on 08/28/2016
Thank you!
Thank you!

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