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Gremlins 3 Remake? Reboot? Sequel?

There has been a lot of rumors and discussion regarding Gremlins 3 actually being a remake or reboot instead of a sequel, and looking at the current Hollywood climate, it sure seems likely, but why?

Logically a remake would attract more theatregoers than Gremlins 3 would.
Fans of the gremlins franchise will see anything Gremlins in the theatre, be it Gremlins 3 or a remake/reboot. So those are guaranteed customers and do not factor in to the math.

However, as it has been nearly 20 years since we have last seen Gremlins in any form (commercials, games,  and DVD releases not withstanding) there is an entire generation of potential ticket sales that have never even seen Gremlins in the media.  Those customers are unlikely to see a sequel to a movie they never have seen before. Sure some might rent the previous films but they frankly do not have the legacy that other long-dormant movie franchises (like Ghostbusters) do.

Let’s try it this way:

Say there are a million people who are guaranteed ticket sales. They love the previous movies, and would absolutely see a new one in the theatre, regardless of it being a reboot or sequel.

Remake: 1 Million
Sequel: 1 Million

Now let’s take the rest of the moviegoing poulation, and pretend it is 10 million more people. They are undecided.

Undecided: 10m
Remake: 1m
Sequel: 1m

Of that 10m undecided a good number are going to be under the age of 18, as most people who make up the bulk of ticket sales are youth. Let’s number them at 7 Million.

Undecided Adults: 3m
Undecided Youth: 7m
Remake: 1m
Sequel: 1m

Here is where we diverge.

(more after the jump!)
You can still assume healthy ticket sales for a sequel since those adults that are undecided on what movie to see this week are at the very least aware of Gremlins in a general sense. But there is a major catch here. Not all of those adults will want to see Gremlins 3, for whatever reason, be it they didn’t enjoy the prior movies, or simply lost interest in the franchise over the years. That 3 million people will split into a much smaller number at least three ways and we may see something like this:

Undecided Adults: 1m
Lost Adults: 1m
Undecided Youth: 7m
Remake: 1.5m
Sequel: 1.5m

Most people who are undecided on a film will end up simply not going at all rather than spend 10$ a ticket on a gamble, hence the Lost Adults figure being so high.
Let’s take a look at the youth now.
Most of the under 18 crowd will be uninterested in a movie that hasn’t been touched or hyped in 20 years, unless they have older brothers/sisters that have an interest in the franchise. There have been no high profile video games, books, comics, cards, board games or toys in at least 15 years. While some may dig the “retro 80’s” scene, the vast majority are going to pass a sequel for a movie they haven’t seen up before giving it a shot.

Undecided Adults: 1m
Lost Adults: 1m
Undecided Youth: 5.5m
Remake: 1.5m
Sequel: 3m

Let’s try adding in the possibilty of a remake again. A remake is an interesting beast. While you will lose a percentage of hardcore devotees, it is nearly insignificant as most people who were fans of the film that is being remade will see it simply to see what they think will be a train wreck, and confirm their opinions.The thing to remember is that a remake will also bring in new younger fans and people on “date nights” that might otherwise be turned off to the concept of a sequel.

Undecided Adults: 0
Lost Adults: 1m

Undecided Youth: 0
Lost Youth:1.5m
Remake: 6.5m
Sequel: 3m

So we have a guesstimate total of 9.5 million people going to see a gremlins movie from a sample of 12 million people. Pretty nice, but we aren’t done yet.
This is what the studios look at. They don’t want to make a movie that only 25% of potential (read: those that aren’t in the “Lost” category) customers will pay to see. They want to get every one of  them they can. Our logic here also assumes that there are two films showing at the same time, one remake, one sequel. As we know that doesn’t happen, why would a studio invest in what is a clear loss of potential sales? They know that there is money in both a remake and sequel, but if only 25% of potential customers or less will come see it, they will just throw it on DVD for a fraction of the cost and take what they can get rather than go for a full theatrical release.

This brings us to the studio’s likely reasoning to consider a remake.

Let’s look at some factors.

  • We are dealing with a 25 year old franchise that has had little exposure in 15 years or more.
  • The original film’s cast and crew, while phenomenal in their performances are really not household names and will not draw people to a theatre
  • The issues associated with a sequel and the continuity set forth, could hamper creative new ideas for the film.
  • The money in merchandising Gremlins is not what it was in the 80’s.

A sequel would limit the film to those that are aware of the previous movies, and the only way to re-ignite the interest is re-release the originals (as is being done with Toy Story)

So it looks like a sequel is a bad idea on paper. Remember the goal of the movies is to sell tickets, then DVDs later on, so they don’t want to take risks on something that could be a poor seller.

A remake, however, has the potential to attract ALL the aforementioned possible customers. The people who would give the sequel a shot would probably try out a remake in hopes that it leads to a great franchise, and more interesting Gremlins stories or merchandise.The studios know this and I think in the end they look at it like this:

If there is a sequel, it will be direct to DVD
If there is a remake/reboot it will be a major theatrical release.

While I am sure many of you are unhappy to consider the concept of a direct-to-dvd sequel, the reality is Gremlins is not Ghostbusters.

How many people who saw The Hills Have Eyes or The Last House On The Left knew that they were both based on older films? While people know about Friday the 13th, Halloween and Nightmare On Elm Street, they are all seen as stupid 80s slasher flicks, or “corny”, “campy” or whatnot. They were not taken seriously. The remakes and reboots are an attempt at regaining the interest that was once there but from a new generation. For the most part, both Halloween and F13 have succeeded at this.
Granted, there are many remakes that have bombed horrendously, The Mist, Planet Of The Apes, Godzilla, and too many more to name.
The remake trend seems to be continuing with a Karate Kid reboot, Neverending Story remake and a few others in the pipeline.

The beauty of a remake is it entices new viewers into becoming fans, who then often gain an interest in the older films, spurring additional revenue in rentals/purchases. It also courts the old fans into spending money in the theatre, so the potential for profit is immensely larger than a sequel.

What are your thoughts? What are your reasonings behind your support of a sequel or remake?

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10 responses to “Gremlins 3 Remake? Reboot? Sequel?

  1. Hallie Hessell January 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    good post, I’m Glad I got to your blog. I’ll save your site so I can visit it again afterwards.

  2. JC December 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    As long as they do not destroy it with CGI, then I will be much more accepting of their choice to bring the Gremlins back into theaters. They will probably not be able to help themselves though.

  3. gizmo October 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    this is lake ghostbusters because gremlins is popular enough for fans to get a sequel
    im behind the idea 100%

  4. Stripe October 26, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    PS I also want Joe Dante to direct it, although he mentioned that he’s sure they won’t ask him. And that if they did, he’d insist on no CGI himself. Or else he’d split, I guess.

    • Hammam December 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

      I fully agree with Jim and Stripe. It’s an insult to those of us who grew up with those films to make a remake. AND NO CGI!!!

  5. Stripe October 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I agree with Jim. If they have any respect at all to the original two films, then a sequel (with Zach, Cates, Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph!) is the only way…and NO CGI! If it only has to do with money, (which is the way these days, sadly) then of course it will be a remake…with CGI. But I will not go see it, rent it, buy it or anything. (However, I know my opinion means nothing in the equation.)

    Sorry if I sound negative – but I love the originals so much, that’s why…it’s all about the love for the originals and what they mean to those of us who grew up with them, or just love GREAT movies in general!

  6. Jim October 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I rather see a sequel featuring the original stars for the last time and see it darker and exciting like the first film. Remaking the original movie is going to ruin the magic and sheer goodness.

  7. Corey October 15, 2009 at 12:07 am

    i agree completely also. Except the statement that nightmare on elm street was considered corny. I’ve alway’s considered it a fantastic franchise. But growing up, i’ve seen gremlins 1 & 2 several times each, and never lost interest. Im only 20, and i know those movies beginning to end. If they make a reboot, they have my ticket. But if it goes straight to DVD, i doubt i’ll even rent it.

  8. lucifer sam October 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I’d really love to watch Gremlins in a theatre. Dammit !
    I was born too late !

  9. Josie Halliwell October 6, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I agree with the whole thing. A remake is the way to go. I heard rumours about reviving the original script, which was much darker. I think thats where the money is.

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