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Hollywood’s Grim Vision of the Future

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The final list of top Hollywood money makers for 2014 delivers some bad news for American culture: not one of these movies counts as even vaguely original or realistic. Seven of the big ten are either sequels, or remakes, or both; five are based on comic books; two more—the delightful “Lego Movie” and the wretched “Transformers: Age of Extinction” are inspired by popular children’s toys.

The most successful movies—eight of ten, in fact—portray a grim future with humanity menaced by dark, conspiratorial forces. That’s the basic set-up in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Transformers,” the “X-Men” film—“Days of Future Past,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Amazing Spider Man 2,” and even “Big Hero 6.”

The emphasis on a dark view of apocalyptic days ahead may actually reflect Hollywood’s own troubled future.

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