It seems like in the past few years the only movies Hollywood has churned out are remakes and sequels, but just how accurate is this popular conception that Hollywood movies are getting less creative?
To look into the number of original movies vs. movies made from non-original IP, Reddit user spicer2 dug into data from BoxOfficeMojo and calculated the proportion of original movies among the top 50 highest-grossing films worldwide from 1978 to 2019:
With red representing original movies and blue representing sequels, spicer2's graph also includes a more nuanced categorization of movies that are not considered "original": the yellow portion accounts for remakes, while the orange portion indicates movies that are installments in a franchise or a cinematic universe, such as a James Bond film or a Marvel movie.
Grey, on the other hand, is for "non-original" movies that don't fit any aforementioned category: they could be reboots of a franchise, such as one of the many (perhaps too many) Spider-Man movies we have been getting in the past two decades, or films that share the same source material, such as movies adapted from "A Christmas Carol."
As you can see from the graph, the percentage of original movies has gradually shrunk since 1978. Non-original movies now make up a hefty proportion of the highest-grossing movies at the box office, and last year, the top five highest-grossing movies were, in order, "Avengers: Endgame," "The Lion King," "Frozen II," "Spider-Man: Far From Home" and "Captain Marvel." None of these movies would count as an original movie, according to spicer2's definitions: three are from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one is an animated sequel, and one is a live-action remake. Oh yes, and all of these movies came from the same studio: Disney.