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EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It! Hollywood Remakes the Classics

Photo by nwtgp/flickr

To remake classic movies or not to remake classic movies? That is the question. Well, at least that’s the question in Hollywood.

For instance, the remake of the 1984 classic, “Footloose,” just hit theaters. In August, the 1985 horror comedy, “Fright Night” was remade. While in theaters, the film grossed nearly $37 million worldwide as of October 9. However, the film only grossed over $18 million in the United States, while the original film grossed nearly $25 million in the country. Recently, Lionsgate Entertainment announced they would remake the 1980s hit, “Dirty Dancing.”

Why do film execs remake movies instead of filming a new story? In an interview with the Huntington Post, Mike Fleming, the film editor of Deadline, said “The point behind remakes is that we [the audience] already know the name, which is half the battle.”  He also mentions “Studios are fixated on the idea of pre-sold or recognizable brands because it is easier to earn a buck.”

I  asked 10 Illinois residents, “What is your opinion of Hollywood remaking classic films?”

The majority of people didn’t like remakes.

“I believe by remaking movies shows the lack of ideas the creative industry has,” said retired Oak Lawn resident, John Alkofer. “It seems like they ran into a brick wall.”

“When they remake movies, Hollywood just switches everything around and the actors try to impersonate what the previous actor did, which gets distracting,” said student Michael Short, 21.

“I am a fan of originals,” said Neil Kazragis, an Oak Lawn maintenance worker.  “To me, that is how I remember the films and I don’t want to see them differently.

Another Oak Lawn resident, Mary Canchola, 49, said, “I don’t want to see a movie that I grew up with as a kid changed. It takes away the memories that I had with the films.”

“When you take a classic and remake it, it can turn out horribly or successful based on the production staff behind the story, said Loyola University Chicago student, Ashley Perkins. “It depends if the story can fit into today’s world  with the new generation.”

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.