You might have noticed that Disney and Warner Bros have implemented a new strategy over the last few years.
We all know that sequels and remakes to popular films drive revenue, but they are often poorly received even after making a load of dosh. You can see my article here on how much this frustrates me.
Tarzan is the latest example of this.
The original Disney movie, and not to mention the numerous other iterations of the jungle man were beloved by most, including myself. In fact Tarzan, the animation (1999), would make my top 5 Disney movie list, although Julian here would disagree with that. Now, taking all of that nostalgia, memories and legend, Warner Bros have churned out a new iteration.
Tarzan. Source: Warner Bros
It’s so simple, re-working all of the old classics into newer versions, and it’s a solid strategy. Just ask Nintendo who revamped Pokémon into Pokémon GO.
The stats back it up too, with Cinderella generating revenues of almost $500m, Malificent over $750m, The Jungle Book over $1B. Clearly a profitable strategy.
In fact so far the biggest failure has been The BFG reaching $55m so far although suffering in my opinion from some lacklustre marketing (should have dropped us a line to help out – we love Roald Dahl).
Hell. Dare I say it some might think they adopted this strategy with Star Wars, which in essence, is so far a super slick remake of the original trilogy.
I loved it, but you can’t argue with the parallels of A New Hope (see: millions of disgruntled posts).
So, great, whoop, Disney and Warner Bros are raking in the money’s, but at what cost? Well, as a lifelong Disney lover, I can tell you they certainly are capable of still bring us a classy, stylish, thoughtful and high class movie – just check out Inside Out. Warner Bros are obviously capable of the same.
For me, this focus on re-works is a slightly sad turn and the balance of new ideas and re-worked ones is a little skewed at the moment, because of the guaranteed revenue that a re-work offers – more on that here.
People love nostalgia, but I would hope Disney reconsider the balance of fresh new ideas and re-worked old ones. I don’t think a re-worked old idea has ever truly been as good as the original.
Come on Disney and Warner Bros, gamble with some new ideas please.