When Original Wasn’t A Dirty Word

iron man 3 franchise opp

Iron Man 3 is tracking for an opening weekend between $170-$175 million, which would make it the second largest opening weekend ever. More than Iron Man 1, more than Iron Man 2, and just behind the Avengers (ie Iron Man 2.5/Thor 2/The Hulk 3/Captain America 2)

I’ve seen four films this year, all originals. The only franchise films I’m excited for are Before Midnight and the latest entry in the Up Series, and those franchises are so original, I hesitate to label them franchises at all. When it comes to original films, even when they aren’t good, even when I don’t like them, I LOVE original films. I love that some director/producer/writer/actor took a chance, tried something new and gutsy and didn’t rely on formulas that worked in the past or characters that they already knew or plots they’ve already done, that they didn’t rely on an established brand or series or trademark, but instead reached deep, got creative, and created something new, unique, something I’d never seen before.

There was a time, a decade or so ago, when audiences complained about all the sequels being made. I remember us being pretty vocal about it too. But the studios are smart and they figured out how to circumvent this. Now, instead of sequels we get franchises, and for some reason, when it’s a franchise, everyone loves it.

Boxofficemojo predicted the highest grossing films for the upcoming summer, and their predictions are (in order): Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, The Heat. Finally, at number 7, an original film. Rounding out the top 21, there are five more franchises, and of the remaining nine, three are book adaptions, one is Die Hard in the White House, and one is Transformers vs. Godzilla. But you know, these last five, I’ll take them, because in a summer when only six of the 21 expected highest grossing films are original, even quasi-original films become original.


I love movies, I really love original movies, and I will continue to see them. Of my top 7 most anticipated films of 2013, two are franchises, and like I said, those franchises are so original I don’t really consider them franchises. For my other five, one is a book adaption, one is a documentary, and three are original, based on completely original screenplays. Of my next seven: two are book adaptions and five are original.

I love films. I love sitting down with talented filmmakers, giving them my time and energy, putting my trust and faith in them, taking a chance and getting something exciting, something magical, something amazing in return. Something I’ve never seen before. Maybe I’m just endlessly optimistic. Maybe it is too much to ask for this every time out. But when you find that good one, that Social Network or Hurt Locker or Drive or 40 Year Old Virgin, it’s worth it. I’ll be looking, and I will find them. And then I will tell you about them here so you can discover them too!


About Gabriel Bruskoff
I make movies! See gabrielbruskoff.com for more information.

One Response to When Original Wasn’t A Dirty Word

  1. Interesting points and observations. I do think Comic Book based movies are exempt from the traditional stigma attached to Hollywood “Follow Up” movies. As in comics, the super heroes are in situational stories, like a sitcom if you will, ie A supernatural force is invading the minds of scientist and causing them to create an incurable disease to kill off the human race. What is Superman going to do? Next Issue; Next Movie; Superman has to fight of Maniacal Homeless people who are killing kitty cats. They usually are not character follow ups. How many Rambos were there? How Many Horror movie characters had 10 plus follow ups. All really situational events. Anyway, some movies do not need a follow up on a Character. Julie Delphy really didn’t need to do a 2 Days in Paris follow up. To me it was perfect the way it ended up. There is always the threat of disappointment, because now we have expectations. And when those expectations are not met then we feel gipped. Great article, Gabe. Keep them coming.

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