This weekend, Independence Day: Resurgence blasts its way into theaters. This movie is the sequel to Independence Day, which came out in 20 years ago in 1996. Many people are awestruck why 20th Century Fox actually made this movie; it was great at its time but it seems like the nostalgia has faded away.
It is interesting to hear people's various perspectives on the topic. For you guys who have followed me here on Movie Pilot, you probably know that I am a younger writer -- like when I say younger, I mean I am going into my senior year of high school. Therefore, my viewpoint on a myraid of topics is very unique due to my age.
I grew up loving the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and I was only a twinkle in my parents' eyes when Independence Day came to theaters, so my perspective is going to be different than someone who sat in that movie theater munching on popcorn and watching the best visual effects of the time play out on screen.
A Different Generation
Usually sequels are made a few years after the original film has been released, sometimes sooner and sometimes longer. The buzz around a movie only lasts for so long. Therefore, if a sequel is continuously delayed -- see Avatar, for example -- movie studios face the challenge of trying to create buzz for a sequel to a film that is quickly fading from the memories of moviegoers.
Even eventual follow-ups to recent hits, like The Lego Movie 2, coming out in 2019, will enter theaters five years after the release of its predecessor. The Lego Movie had a huge amount of buzz around it, but will that love still be there in 2019? A kid who saw the movie at 10 years-old and loved it -- and maybe bought some of the Lego sets will be 15 years-old when the sequel comes out. For a teenager, that's a big age difference.
However, that's still only five years. What happens when a movie like Independence Day gets a sequel 20 years later? When a time period is that long, the buzz dying out means its mostly relying on nostalgia for the original. 20 years is a whole generation. There are people my age who have never seen -- or even heard of --Independence Day.
When 20th Century Fox decided to produce a sequel to produce a sequel to Independence Day, their goal was to draw two different groups of people into the theaters: The people who saw Independence Day back in 1996 and new, younger fans. While a lot of people who saw and loved Independence Day in theaters will go and watch the new movie, it seems to be that the studio has failed at attracting and interesting younger fans to see the film.
Something New vs. Something Old
What I have noticed from the perspective of someone who wasn't even born when Independence Day was released is that people do not have an interest in the movie anymore. Independence Day was a big summer blockbuster at the time and is a pretty good movie but didn't pull in spectacular reviews. Today, the movie is one of a dozen science fiction-disaster films and hasn't had a lot of nostalgia stick with it. Movies like Star Wars and Jurassic World are instant classics with huge amounts of nostalgia attached to them that never seems to die out no matter the generation. Therefore, when they both debuted new movies last year, they were huge successes -- pulling in a few billion dollars.
It has just been way too long for there to be a sequel to Independence Day; the only way for it to become a huge success is for the movie itself to be amazing. Well, just like its predecessor, it's gained mediocre reviews from critics. People my age are actually more interested in seeing The Shallows this weekend than Independence Day: Resurgence; a new thriller to call our own instead of the last generation's leftovers.
Hopefully 20th Century Fox and other studios will look at Independence Day: Resurgence as an example about producing sequels way too late. Five years is already long enough, but when the sequel is released 10 or even 20 years later -- and it's not a movie franchise like Star Wars with a massive amount of multigenerational fans -- it might not do so well.