New movies sequels reach peak in 2011

By Katlyn Moncada
Theaters will reach record-breaking numbers with 27 movie sequels to be released throughout 2011, breaking 2003’s record of 23. This is not including films that are adaptations of books, television shows or games.

One of the most anticipated to be the largest box-office hit of the year is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two,” the last of the Harry Potter series. New additions of “Transformers,” “Cars” and “Twilight” are also expected to be blockbusters.

A record will also be broken for the most fourth installments released in the same year. Johnny Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow will be returning in the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.

New versions of films such as “Big Momma’s House: Like Father, Like Son” may not have as anxious an audience.

Breaking the record for the most sequels in one year may not be a good thing.

Caleb Stallings, senior media communications and philosophy double major, attended the Los Angeles Film Studies Center for a semester in the spring 2010. While the film industry is supposed to supply viewers with quality entertainment, Stallings also recognized that film is business and sequels are a common way to make a profit.

“The purpose of a business is to make a profit,” Stallings said. “The American film industry, with over a century of experience under its belt, has figured out the cheapest, quickest and most efficient way to do just that.”

Studios have also been accused of a lack of creativity with so many sequels being released. Commonly, viewers find the original film is preferable to the movies that appear later in a series. With 27 sequels in one year, it is up for debate whether the new films will be memorable.

“Filmmakers who have an opportunity to work on a sequel should try to explore new ground within the narrative context while also striving to bring audiences a fresh and entertaining story they will want to see again and again,” Stallings said. “Many great sequels, whether adapted or original, achieve this.”

The train of movie sequels will likely continue to flow. How the load of movie sequels are accepted by viewers this year will hopefully map out a future for more creative sequels and original films.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.

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