Rebooted: Coming Soon To a Theater Near You, Again

Can’t get enough of your favorite movies and TV shows? Apparently, neither can Hollywood. Remakes, reboots and sequels have tremendously grown in popularity over the past few years. From Mean Girls to Sonic the Hedgehog to The Little Mermaid, many beloved franchises are continuing to find their way back to the big screen and streaming services. While remakes and reboots are nothing new, these past few years have seen a surge in them. 


There are many reasons for the increase in reboots, remakes and sequels. One reason is finances. It is safer to recreate or add onto an existing story that has captivated audiences, than to take chances on a new idea that could result in losing money or reputability. By resparking the admiration of a franchise to existing audiences while introducing the franchise to new and younger audiences, studios can bet on significant box office returns. 


Dr. Matthew Jones, Film Studies lecturer at De Montfort University in Leicester told Cosmopolitan, “The most secure option for studios is always going to be something we call a ‘pre-sold property’, which means a film that has a built-in audience that one can all but guarantee will go and see the film.” He later adds, “This is not laziness on the part of the production studios. It’s just good, sound financial logic.”


Another reason for the growth of remakes, reboots and sequels is because of audience demand. In many cases, fans crave to see the continuation of their favorite TV show or movie with a new season or a sequel. The long lasting duration of a franchise is oftentimes a sign of how successful it is. The problem may arise when studios take that and run with it. 


A few of the longest running film franchises include Star Wars, Halloween, Fast and Furious and Godzilla. A few of the longest running TV series include Sesame Street, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons, South Park and SpongeBob SquarePants. The question is, how do fans feel about the perpetuation of these franchises?


Grey’s Anatomy is still one of the most watched dramas on network television. The show has entertained fans from all over the world for almost 20 years since the debut of its first season in 2005. A fan of the series told Huffington post, “[Grey’s Anatomy is] its own extended universe, and it’s just moved so far from what it was initially and become part of our cultural discourse in a way that I just kind of imagine it going on for forever because it’s not like I’m hungering for some conclusion or eager to see where does this all wrap up.” 


Other fans shared their stories as to why they still love Grey’s Anatomy after all these years. What can be summarized from the fans’ statements are that the relatability and adaptability of the show are the reasons for its longevity. The ability to have characters and scenes that the audience can relate to and the ability to keep up with modern trends and topics are key reasons for its success. 


Another long-running franchise is Spider-Man. Spider-Man is an iconic superhero character whose movies and variations span decades. The first Spider-Man movie was released in 2002. To this day Spider-Man movies are still being produced with the movies Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man: Beyond the Spiderverse still on the horizon. The reason for the popularity of the Spider-Man franchise can be summarized by this quote from a Medium article titled, “Why Are the Spider-Man Movies Very Popular?”


 “The Spider-Man movies are favorites because they combine relatable characters, powerful messages, mind-blowing action, engaging stories, memorable villains and a whole lot of humor.” – Aiden, Medium


One of the longest running children’s television shows is SpongeBob SquarePants as it’s been amusing audiences since 1999. Since the release of the original television series, the franchise has made two spinoff shows, The Patrick Star Show and Kamp Koral. There are also three movies, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Sponge Out of Water and Sponge on the Run. The original series has been renewed for a 15th season and their fourth movie, Search for SquarePants, is expected to release in 2025.


Upcoming remakes, reboots and sequels in 2024 include, The Garfield Movie, Inside Out 2, Mufasa: The Lion King, Despicable Me 4 and Joker: Folie à Deux