Trend Review: Hollywood Edition
Published: Monday, April 2, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 2, 2012 21:04
There is a strange trend cropping up in Hollywood nowadays. It seems like every television show and film has a twin or two, with copycats springing up after something becomes a smash hit.
Mirror, Mirror is a new comedy fantasy film, starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, that is based on the tale Snow Whiteby the Brothers Grimm. But in just three months time Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron (also based on the Grimm fairytale), will debut in theaters. One can also catch Snow on the small screen, in ABC’s Once Upon a Time played by Ginnifer Goodwin.
Granted, Mirror, Mirror is aimed at children, as opposed to the action-adventure epic of Huntsman– and Once creators are putting their own spin on numerous fairytales and stories. But still, where did this focus on fairytales come from? Remember, the trend began to creep into mainstream last year with the box-office bombs of Beastly and Red Riding Hood.
One could also refer to the recent Twilight phenomenon, that drew attention to vampires and prompted the greenlighting of many shows like HBO’s True Blood, the CW’s Vampire Diaries,SyFy’s U.S. version of Being Human, the failed ABC series The Gates, as well as CBS’s Moonlight.
“Sometimes there are trends with audiences and with film studios, T.V. stations, and they go wild, and they run like lemmings in one direction until they go over the cliff,” said director Werner Herzog in an interview with The Associated Press. He tried to distance his 2007 documentary Encounters at the End of the Worldfrom being labeled as “another film about penguins” due to the popularity of March of the Penguins.
“I think ‘trendanization’ is very unoriginal,” said John Conway, an International Marketing major at Baruch. “There are so many new ideas circulating in film, movies, and T.V., but pop culture only seems to capitalize on what they know everyone already likes.”
Justin Mahmud, a Corporate Communications major, agrees that it’s more about the bottom line. “mostly something becomes successful, there’s so many people wanting to jump on board. I don’t even think it’s about trying to be original or not anymore. What it boils down to is dollar signs.”
“This makes it easier for the industry, because there is less risk involved. […] If the consumer is continuously presented with variations of the same thing that they enjoy, they will most likely not venture out and try something new,” Conway said.
Youtube sensation Harry S. Plinkett, a fictionalized reviewer from RedLetterMedia, has dissected films like the Star Wars prequels and Star Trek films, reiterating how the spinoffs are simply trying to capitalize on the success of the originals. However, in search of that spark, filmmakers lose sight of telling their audience a story, and instead focus on merchandising what is popular with the most lucrative demographic.
Will the “trendanization” of Hollywood ever end? Herzog went on to say that every genre has its moment in the spotlight – especially vampires and zombies, which have had many films dedicated to them since the dawn of film. And with Hollywood growing more and more obsessed with the bottom line, it appears they will continue their trending habits so long as it continues to be profitable.