Photo courtesy of IMDb.
There’s no denying that since the beginning of time, classic stories have been remade, repackaged and retold. Nowadays fewer original stories are being created and classic stories are still resonating with audiences. Now, call me sentimental but I myself have always gone out to support these sequels, prequels and remakes because I give the studios the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they aren’t just going out for a senseless cash grab, maybe one enterprising screenwriter grew up dreaming of directing their favorite movie, and given the chance, that’s exactly what they did. Optimistic? Definitely. Childishly naive? Of course. Nonetheless, I believe it’s all the same.
Regardless, here are some of those repackaged stories that have graced the silver screen this past summer.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (Released on May 25)
“Solo,” directed by Ron Howard, details the early life of Han Solo, an iconic character in cinema history. Throughout the film, the audience sees everything about how his character came to be, how he got his name, how he met Chewbacca and even how he was able to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs (despite parsecs being a measurement of distance, and not time). With this exciting backstory, one would think that Star Wars fans, famous for their devotion to all the minuscule details of the fictional universe, would have loved it. One would be wrong. Boxofficemojo.com reported that “Solo” made $392 million worldwide which sounds like a large sum. However, compared to its budget of $300 million, it seems that the film barely broke even.
Ocean’s 8 (Released on June 8)
“Ocean’s 8,” directed by Gary Ross (“Pleasantville” and “The Hunger Games”) follows Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) as she puts together a team to pull of a heist, a much more complex one than her brother Danny ever had, right under everyone’s noses at the most crowded event imaginable, the Met Gala. Christy Lemire, a film critic for rogerebert.com, describes the film as, “carrying on the tradition of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy.” Lemire went so far as to give the film three out of four stars. In regards to the audience appeal, look no further than boxofficemojo.com, which reported the full gross of the film, both domestic and foreign, to be $295 million, compared to its budget of just $70 million.
Incredibles 2 (Released on June 15)
“Incredibles 2,” written and directed by Brad Bird was a film many fans of all ages were waiting for. “The Incredibles” came out 14 years ago. Since then, everyone had been clamoring for the second installment. The majority of fans enjoyed the continuation of the saga. It made over $1.1 billion worldwide, with a budget of only $200 million. While Brain Tollerico, film critic for rogerebert.com, gave it three-and-a-half stars, saying, “[The Incredibles] was the most sequel ready film in the entire Pixar Canon.” A canon he states has always tended toward making original, standalone films, with the exception of “Toy Story,” and now, of course, “The Incredibles” as well.