Summer 2011 was Franchise City, and Hollywood is reaping the benefits in a big way. The box office success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Hangover 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five and Cars 2 has carried this summer into record-breaking numbers, which means we can all look forward to Harry Potter: The Retirement Years, The Hangover 7, Transformers: Light of My Life, Pirates of the Caribbean: Johnny Depp’s Still Doing It, Fast Fifteen and Cars ‘n’ Trucks: Love On The Racetrack in coming years. I can’t WAIT!
It’s not all grim news. Bridesmaids is the sleeper hit of the summer, the great X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes did solid business and I loved Harry Potter and Fast Five. But the fact that Bridesmaids is the only non-franchise film to do significant business at the box office this summer, while filling my heart with pride, doesn’t give me a lot of hope that we’re not going to see endless sequels, prequels and reboots in theaters for time out of mind.
We all know that it’s important to see unconventional, franchise-free films like Bridesmaids and Attack the Block at the theater. For instance, I saw a sneak of 50/50 this week; the film is coming out soon and I hope you’ll all go see it, as it’s an unusual little movie with wonderful performances and an utterly refreshing tone. But I think it might also be important to save your curiosity about shit like Transformers, The Hangover and Pirates for Netflix or HBO, okay? Stop seeing these movies at the theater, people! Sure, it’s hot outside and you’re bored, but read a freaking book, go swimming or check out your local indie cinema instead. I know, who the hell am I to tell you that you shouldn’t go see those movies? But goddammit, now all the smug, soulless suits in Hollywood are strutting around and patting themselves on the back for shitting out those idiotic movies, and this bullshit cycle will NEVER END.