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Fan Favorites Returning to Theaters

Updated: Apr 2

Along with new films, theaters all across the U.S. love to return fan favorite films in theaters. Call it what you may, whether that be profiting off of nostalgia or genuinely wanting to see audiences happy. They always do very well. In our local theaters, upcoming returning films include all eight of the live action Spiderman films, The Godfather, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and many other classics. 


While some may pin this to be about reboots or sequels to these beloved films, it’s not what you may think. Building off of a fandom’s love, studios have been bringing back old favorites to the big screen. This is no new thing to the film industry, dating back to the early 1900’s. Many of these returning dates also happen to fall under an anniversary of the film, such as The Wizard of Oz (also returning to the big screen this year) celebrating their 85th anniversary. Before streaming services took over our film/media consumption, special edition DVDs also greatly benefited from anniversaries. These anniversary screenings are especially popular in arthouse theaters, which are theaters that mostly show movies targeted for the hardcore film nerds.

People never forget two things, their first love and the money they wasted watching a bad movie. -- Amati Kalantri 

Enough said. Modern reboots, sequels, and adaptations have not always gone as well as corporations have expected. Examples like Disney remaking their beloved animated films to live action, actually causing them to lose money at the box office. Movies such as Dumbo, Mulan, and Cruella lost over $200 million worldwide. Some blame the mass production of the subpar remakes to COVID19, due to the fact many theater chains suffered greatly. Productions had to pause or completely be canceled due to the virus and effects of that are still very present in the industry. This is really when streaming services were thriving, since people really were just staying in their homes worldwide. They had to stay entertained somehow, right? A 31% increase was seen on digital entertainment usage in 2020. 


The final and most painful reason we are seeing such an rise in returning films is studio films are truly struggling. It may not be glaringly obvious, yet films and media have not been the same since COVID.  The Guardian goes as far to say “Cinema may never be the same again.” This sad truth is undeniable, with the data collected. 80% of the box office fell because of COVID. So, returning beloved films has saved theaters to some capacity.

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