The Coming Cinematic Sci-fi Invasion

All right, I’ll admit at the outset that maybe this post is a little late. It looks like the sci-fi invasion of the cineplex may have already begun. 2013 was already a pretty “stellar” year for science fiction at the box office. Here are the main, big budget films that came out last year as far as I can tell:

  • Oblivion
  • Catching Fire
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • After Earth
  • Pacific Rim
  • Elysium
  • Gravity
  • Ender’s Game

 

enders game science fiction cinema

That list is not meant to be comprehensive. It doesn’t include super hero movies, for instance, which technically are often considered sci-fi (Ironman being a prime example of this). But I wanted to stick to the more traditional sci-fi just to keep it simple. If there are any you think I missed, let me know in the comments.

I don’t know about you, but that list seems longer to me than in past years. I’m sure I’m forgetting some movies (many sci-fi movies are unfortunately rather forgettable), but I can only think of a handful of sci-fi movies released over the last decade or so: movies like the second Star Wars trilogy, The latest round of Star Trek flicks, SerenityThe Matrix series, Inception and Avatarand that’s about it. Ten years of movies and I can barely think of a handful.

Space Invaders

I’ll freely admit that I’m not the world’s greatest science fiction fan, but as someone who grew up watching the Star Wars movies and to a lesser degree the Star Trek shows and movies, and who now writes sci-fi, I’ve always been interested to see what’s going on in this space and seeing what sorts of stories are being written and made into films.

And, I don’t know, I was just browsing through upcoming trailers the other day and it struck me that there are an awful lot of sci-fi films coming out in the near future. Here are a few:

  • Transcendence
  • Interstellar
  • Divergent
  • Earth to Echo
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Edge of Tomorrow

 

interstellar cinematica sci-fi

What does this all mean? Are people reading more science fiction and then wanting to see those books made into movies? Are movie-goers more drawn to stories about the future? Is this just a fad or a coincidence?

I don’t have any definitive answers, but I’ll hazard a few guesses. One reason I think science fiction is on the rise is that there have been several best-selling books like Hunger Games, and Divergent in this category recently, giving the genre more visibility.

I think the success of Avatar might have something to do with it as well. As of this writing it was the top-grossing movie of all time and so there were bound to be more films pop up afterwards to try and imitate some of that success.

I also think the way technology has become a bigger and bigger part of our lives encourages people to take an interest in stories where robots take over the world or science makes unthinkable inventions like time travel and fast interstellar exploration a reality. High-tech ideas and concepts have become more common place and thus audiences are more likely to be able to relate to them.

Those are really just guesses and there may be other factors involved, but whatever the reasons, one thing is clear, you’re going to have to wear a tinfoil hat to the movie theater in the coming months if you want to avoid the impending cinematic sci-fi invasion.

You’ve been warned!

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