Movies that are based on true stories or are centered on the life of someone famous or infamous seems more popular today than ever before. While such biopics or true stories have been around Hollywood for more than a century, the renewed interest has made them even more desired by the film studios. It is true that biopics have changed considerably over the years. Today, most biopics focus on the most important events in that person’s life and not their entire lives. True stories for the most part center on the event itself with little coverage of before and after. This makes them more appealing to audiences.
The reasons why such films are more popular vary, but there are a few reasons why they are become more successful beyond their shorter, tighter structure.
You only have to look at recent Best Picture nominees and see that many are filled with films based on individuals such as Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya” or real events such as “Dunkirk”. Even experimental films such as “1917” which is a movie consisting of a continuous single take have garnered considerable Oscar attention.
Movie studio chiefs in Hollywood understand the power of winning Oscars. The prestige boosts the brand of the studio. Plus, an Oscar win can also boost the box office for the movie.
One rap that Hollywood gets is that they keep reproducing the same films year after year. From comic book heroes to remakes of popular movies to a seemingly endless number of sequels, many film fans tire of seeing the same thing over and over again.
A biopic or true story gives studios the chance to tackle fresh material. This not only perks the interest of those making the film, it tells the audience that new, fresh, and interesting material is being produced. This helps to generate interest in Hollywood movies even if the box office is not nearly as great compared to standard fare.
Stars Love Biopics
You may have noticed that many biopics or true stories attract some of Hollywood’s biggest stars even if the films themselves have relatively small budgets. Whether it is a genuine interest in the person or story they are making. Or, if the actors want the glory and possible Oscar nominations for starring in such films, biopics in particular are highly attractive.
While it seems that Hollywood tosses money around like bird seed at a park full of pigeons, the truth is that money equals risk. A couple of big-budget bombs can put a studio at the brink of bankruptcy. So, padding out the film releases with movies that have smaller, more manageable budgets helps to reduce the risk to the studio.
This is why so many biopics and true stories are made with limited budgets, often made by smaller studios and distributed by the larger ones. That way even if the movie tanks the losses are relatively small. But if the film is a hit, then it means more money and security for everyone involved.
Because of all these factors, expect to see more biopics of interesting people along with true stories to be made into movies by Hollywood.
Explore Golden Way Media Films’ Biopic feature film project: Carlo’s American Drea