Movies about aliens are almost as old as cinema itself, with the first movie with aliens titled “A Trip to the Moon” releasing in 1902. Since then the topic of Aliens has been visited and revisited a number of times by the best directors in Hollywood. Some of the most successful directors of all time have made their name via alien movies. Steve Spielberg and George Lucas are definitely the most successful of the lot.
“A Trip to the Moon”
Just going by box-office numbers, for Avatar alone, it is easy to see that the alien genre is alive and kicking. Viewers enjoyed being transported to the fabulous world called Pandora to see aliens and humans bonding over the simplest of emotions – love. This year too has seen the biggest budget movies include tons of aliens, be it John Carter, Men In Black 3, Aliens 5 or Avengers.
In fact, the question of whether alien movies have lost or gained their demand needs to be looked at from the point of view of the genre these movies belong to, rather than just assessing if they have aliens in the plot. Some of the alien movies that dominate the genre have been tinged with scary elements. Most memorable among these are the Species franchise, Alien franchise and Predator franchise. These movies were path breakers in their own right and had a devoted legion of fans. Yet, with the exception of Cloverfield, this genre has been left behind for the past 5 years.
“The Day the Earth Stood Still”
Even movies like ET and The Day the Earth Stood Still which try to delve into the psyche of peace loving aliens who come to earth to show us a better way have not graced the cinema halls in a long while.
Most alien movies that hit the screen these days are take their inspiration from comic books. Even immensely popular franchises like Star Trek have not made much of an impact when the latest feature film was released. This just goes to show that the genre that thrives the most is the action/fantasy mash up.
These movies are all out entertainers with over the top battle scenes, extensive CG characters, simple easy to follow storylines and cheesy one-liners. These movies are built for the international audience and take great care to achieve a PG rating so that a majority of the population can watch the movies in cinema halls itself. This action-adventure, fantasy-comedy genre that includes aliens, even robot aliens like the Transformers has a huge and happy market that extends way beyond Hollywood.