Even More Movie Sequels in 2011?

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With 2010 coming to a close, Oscars season is around the corner. Nomination ballots for the February 27 event were mailed today to voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominees will be announced on January 25. As critics and fans speculate over which films will make the cut, Hollywood is carrying on as usual, though January's slate of films often fail to impress. Looking ahead to 2011 as a whole, what should we expect from Hollywood?

Lots more sequels coming: "A reluctance to take a risk on original movie concepts follows the recession," says Nick Allen in The Telegraph. "The flood of sequels will also be fuelled by a deal" that brings together Miramax and Hollywood veterans Bob and Harvey Weinstein. They've already announced sequels to Shakespeare in Love and other popular movies. Expect more of them, too.

Let's stop this trend, please: "This was probably included in lists of Things We Want From Hollywood In 2010. And 2009. And 2008," says Stuart Heritage in The Guardian. "Only two of this year's top 10 movies are original works - Inceptionand Despicable Me - with the rest cobbled together" from already existing ideas. "It's horribly unimaginative, but at least next year's blockbuster season promises to be better." After all, J.J. Abrams is releasing Super 8...but there's not much else to get excited about.

We're on the verge of an original era: After some "expensive yet middle-of-the-road pictures delivered disappointing results or flat-out flopped" in 2010, says Brooks Barnes in The New York Times, studios are looking again for "quality and originality" above all else. They are willing to gamble on "new directors with quirkier sensibilities." This shift might reflect the fact that studios "are having a hard time reading what the audience wants. Even the "sequel strategy" isn't foolproof anymore - Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, for example. Bring on the new ideas.

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