2015 saw the return of two mega franchises #StarWars and #JurassicPark. Whilst Star Wars: The Force Awakens was essentially a direct continuation of the previous films, Jurassic World felt like more of a soft reboot. Both films were huge grossing well over $1 billion with The Force Awakens being the third film in history to gross over $2 billion at box office. Obviously then, it's no surprise that the two studios behind the projects were keen to cash in and quickly got to work on their sequels Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jurassic World 2.
However, though it's no longer amazing for a film to reach over a billion at box office, it's still no small task and we have to ask, how much of that money came in just because of the nostalgia.
How Big Of An Effect Does Nostalgia Have?
There's no denying that even if Jurassic World wasn't a long awaited sequel to the Jurassic Park III it would make a lot of money and would probably still break the billion mark. But, the fact that it was the sequel that fans had been waiting to come around for 14 years helped it a lot. Even if the film was awful we could expect fans to rush to the theatres in their millions just to get a glimpse of what'd happened to the world they'd not stopped thinking about for the past 14 years.
Should nostalgia have had no effect on the film I expect that instead of peaking as the third highest grossing film of all time it would just fall short of the top twenty grossing an estimated $1.02 billion at worldwide box office. This would still be enough to garner a sequel but it's still some $600,000 off the total gross with nostalgia acting as a factor.
How Jurassic World Used The Nostalgia
So, we've come to a conclusion that nostalgia has a relatively large effect on the film's performance at box office and the production companies know this. They know that if they get it right they can pull fans to the cinemas just by showing them the perfect shots in the trailers and posters. Shots that call back to the original Jurassic Park, shots that remind people of the films that introduced them to this franchise in the first place. They play the nostalgia card and they play it hard. Trailers for this film - Jurassic World - relied heavily on making fans see the old films shine through all whilst showing them what's changed. They play a dangerous game, they could overdo the nostalgia and make people think it's a remake or underplay it and people forget that they're supposed to care.
This idea of letting the old films shine through continued in the film itself with some scenes put in almost solely for the nostalgia that they bring. Take the scene with the old jeeps they're only in the film to connect the old films to the new and to make the fans jump around in excitement. The same goes for the final battle in which they are quick to introduce the good old T-Rex from the previous films.
Jurassic World 2 Looses This Luxury
Where the previous film was able to rake in the cash simply because of nostalgia, Jurassic World 2 won't. Granted there will still be loads of diehard fans that will watch the film no matter what. However, for those of us that just remember seeing the old films but don't follow them religiously the aspect of seeing something knew has gone. Jurassic World wasn't a great film, it wasn't awful either but it certainly wasn't the best film of 2015, neither was The Force Awakens. Both were enjoyable and both can be watched again but unless you're a true fan of the franchise they're no the films to make you one.
This proves a problem for Jurassic World 2, it needs to be great, it needs to change the game, bring fans something knew it can't simply be a rehash of the same old story. In the trailers, though it may be able to give a little bit of nostalgia, it can't rely on it as heavily as its predecessor, instead, it will need to focus on the story and show that the studio is going to take the franchise in a new direction.
J.A. Bayona Is Jurassic World 2's Secret Weapon
J.A. Bayona is not a director everyone is familiar with, he's not really a director that's made any huge film. No worry though, Bayona is directing Jurassic World 2 and he's going to smash it. For those not familiar with his work, Bayona has directed The Impossible and last year's A Monster Calls. Now, neither of those films were the most high profile but Bayona is perfect for Jurassic World 2 for a few key reasons.
One, he knows how to tell a story. His films are incredible, they're deep and emotional, they have the ability to capture both joy and happiness like few films I've seen. He understands how to control the emotions of the audience and can create incredibly thought out characters in a series of scenes only deepening them as the plot progresses.
Two, the action he films is different, not different like he films them differently, they're different. In The Impossible, Bayona was able to capture incredible realistic action in which you feel for the characters through out, then in A Monster Calls, there are huge amounts of destruction of an unworldly nature. He can explore deferent styles of action and isn't afraid of changing things up.
Three, different genres seem to be little issue. As a director he seems to dive head first into every project and weather he's directing a horror, a drama or fantasy, he's been able to make a greatly in depth story with strong characters and a plot that stays on track through the course of the film.
All of these things, they're what the Jurassic World sequel needs. They need something knew, they need something, someone to take the franchise into a new direction. To make a great film and as far as I'm concerned Bayona is the man to do the job.
The bellow quote from J.A. Bayona talking to The Independent just proves that he's brave enough to change things up, to move things on and to push the franchise into new depths.
(Source: The Independent)