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1981
Volume 15, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1753-6421
  • E-ISSN: 1753-643X

Abstract

American film remakes have enjoyed growing academic attention over the past 50 years. Together with prequels, sequels, reboots and spin-offs, they have been often viewed as exponents of contemporary recycling culture, symptomatic of Hollywood’s recent creative exhaustion and commercial risk aversion. In our article, we adopt a diachronic quantitative perspective to analyse and interpret the available metadata on 986 Hollywood remakes produced between 1915 and 2020. Our quantitative research shows the number of American remakes produced every year, their ratio in the total number of feature films produced annually, the percentage of remakes in the top most watched movies among the users of IMDb, as well as remake recency and percentage of remakes with titles recognizably linked to the original over the years. We find that popular convictions concerning the remarkable derivativity of contemporary American cinema stem from availability bias (accessibility of statistics concerning recent productions and relative neglect of historical data) and systemic differences in the function and prestige ascribed to feature film remakes by Old and New Hollywood filmmakers.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Priority Research Area Heritage under the programme Excellence Initiative – Research University at the Jagiellonian University
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2023-02-20
2024-07-22
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