Opinion: The dystopia is now

You have all experienced it: Going to the movies on a Friday night, not knowing what to watch.

Not feeling like a superhero flick? What about a drama? But there is one thing you can almost count on nowadays. There is always a new dystopian novel that has been adapted to a movie.

So here we go again, off to the movies to see a triumphant young man/woman overcome the forces of political segregation through a timely revolution. Don’t forget your token characters – the battle-proven mentor, the unexpected ally and the comic relief saviour.

What exactly is it that is making us so keen to watch all of these movies, which we have already seen over and over again in different universes? Was The Hunger Games all that different from Enders Game? Will the revolution ever fail?

I don’t think it even matters any more. We will keep seeing these movies until we have exhausted all of our revolutionary instincts because we are insecure with the way our world is being governed. Maybe we are being given a hint to that despite our brief and passionate history with it, democracy has failed.

With all the same elements in every movie, we only wonder why they are making so many of them. A simple Google search led me to some estimates on what the budgets were like. Where a movie like Avatar has a budget of almost half a billion dollars, the first Hunger Games had a budget of only $80 million. Lesser-known dystopian movies such as Divergent and The Giver, had budgets of almost $20 million. IMDB also shows the profit made from these movies and Hunger Games is pushing almost $500 million and that number increases every single day. What we can conclude is that these films are cheap to make, with a huge profit margin due to the high demand.

Why exactly is there a huge demand for these movies?

If we look at the news over the past few years, all we are seeing is country after country taking part in some sort of revolt or another. Dictators are being overthrown, countries are being ravaged by civil war, but these countries lie far in the eastern parts of the world.

Where is the great North American revolution? Google Trends shows a huge decrease in the word revolution since 2004. Seeing as all we are seeing on the news and movies is revolution, this seems a bit odd. Shouldn’t we be more inclined to join a social movement to better our society? Unless, of course, it is all a warning. The news paints a bloody picture for us and the movies we are watching are constantly forcing us to question our safety in society.

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