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Sequels and Prequels and Reboots, Oh My!

Is it just me, or did it seem like this year was particularly inundated with sequels? I looked it up out of curiosity, and in 2016, there were nearly 40 film sequels, four prequels, and seven major reboots or remakes! And since 2011, this trend has only intensified in Hollywood.

Powerhouses Disney and Marvel have set a precedent for turning hugely successful films into franchises (I see you, Toy Story 4). They understand what their fanbase wants to see, and, understandably, other studios want to follow suit.

The problem is, while Neighbors was funny and The Blair Witch Project was unnerving, studios trying to bank on the success of these individual films inadvertently wear movie-goers down. A successful sequel or prequel employs familiar characters to tell a new story, instead of rehashing what has already been done.

For example, Finding Dory took the same premise of Finding Nemo (scary humans capture a fish, and its family has to come to the rescue) and Pixar still told a fresh new story. More recently, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them utilized the familiarity of the wizarding world from the Harry Potter franchise to create the groundwork for the prequel and appeal to Muggles (er, audiences).

In the case of reboots, studios are banking on the nostalgia factor. However, that in itself can pose problems for fans who are fiercely protective of their favorite flicks. This summer, Ghostbusters was - in my opinion, unfairly - hit with controversy after controversy that overshadowed the actual film.

But will this trend phase out in the new year? Despite the high risk for commercial flops, nope. According to Movie Insider, the top three most anticipated films of 2017 include Transformers: The Last Night, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and The Fate of the Furious. To no one's surprise, making films is a risky and expensive venture, and some bigwig studios are more likely to financially back a project that has already succeeded than entirely original content, even when fans are afflicted with "sequelitis."

Despite the fatigue, there are some bright spots for next year's lineup. The new year begins with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters in the spring; Spiderman: Homecoming and Wonder Woman in the summer; and 2017 wraps up with Justice League, Pitch Perfect 3, and Star Wars Episode VIII.

Which sequel, prequel, or reboot are you excited for in 2017?

Who's excited for Beauty and the Beast? This kid.

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