Much like the supernatural slasher Michael Myers, there are several money-making reasons why beloved intellectual properties will inevitably be resurrected.
Every time a new remake is announced by a major studio or streaming service, there’s always someone in the comments who cries “why won’t Hollywood do anything original?!” Hollywood does, of course, put out original stand-alone content all the time — but for those who bemoan any kind of story retelling, the future will give them lots of opportunities to get angry. Because even the most successful first-time franchises are new members of the cultural zeitgeist. It will take a lot of marketing and time to build the presence held by major IPs.
Universal’s (UVV) – Get Universal Corporation Report ‘Halloween’ franchise is easily one of horror’s most recognizable and successful titles. Even folks who aren’t fans of horror can recognize the iconic masked face of Michael Myers. This October, ‘Halloween Ends’ will hit theaters, and will wrap the franchise’s newest trilogy and mark the end of actress Jamie Lee Curtis’ role as the incomparable scream queen Laurie Strode. This feels like a nail in Michael Myers’ proverbial (and possibly literal) coffin. But is it really?
There Are Benefits To Building IPs
Every major streaming service and production giant has been racing to get their hands on whatever intellectual property they can. Thanks to several smart purchases of popular franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars, Disney (DIS) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report has established itself as a streaming behemoth in just under three years. The pragmatic adoption of popular characters and concepts has fueled new feature films and exclusive series for the company, bringing in plenty of revenue from the box office, streaming platform, and merchandise sales.
Meanwhile, almost every other streamer is doing the same. Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) – Get Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. Report has been growing their own IPs through the years, including DC Comics, Hannah Barbara, Looney Tunes, and more. Batman alone has been rebooted six times, each time with a massive line of toys and merchandise to match. Newer streaming services are also sticking hands in the IP cookie-jar. For instance, young streamer Paramount (PARA) – Get Paramount Global Report is seeing critical acclaim for its new revamp of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, which is bringing subscribers to the fledgling streamer.
And there are several more popular IPs that could become blockbusters in the near future. Last year, Netflix (NFLX) – Get Netflix Inc. Report acquired the rights to the Power Rangers from toy company Hasbro (HAS) – Get Hasbro Inc. Report with plans to build out their own fictional universe. Nintendo (NTDOF) is working on doing this, too, with properties like Super Mario Bros. and Pokémon. Oddly enough though, none of these major media companies bought the right to J.R.R. Tolkien’s massively successful ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise.
According to John Carpenter, ‘Halloween’ Is Only Kinda Ending
As each day sees a new scramble for a popular IP up for sale, it’s hard to believe that something as memorable as ‘Halloween’ will ever truly end. According to the slasher king himself John Carpenter, the movies have, and always will, go where the money is.
“I didn’t expect there to be a sequel [to Halloween ’78]. The movie business is ruled by money. [The first] Halloween made so much money, here they came again, the same guys [saying], ‘Hey John, let’s do another one.’ I guarantee you if Halloween Ends makes a lot of money, guess what? Just guess what.”
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And honestly, this is a really good thing. Revamping legacy characters and properties isn’t just great for revenue, it’s great for the IPs, too. Bringing new stories into a modern age gives younger and older generations a chance to interact with media together. Creators are allowed to add modern elements to dated ideas, be more inclusive, and take advantage of new production technologies. Collecting intellectual properties is clearly a worthwhile investment, and the legend of Michael Myers allows him to live forever. That terrifying face is bound to come back around again, probably when we least expect it to.