Starting in 2001, the reboot series of Ocean’s Eleven was a success that far outshone the achievements of the 1960s original. With an ensemble cast of some of the biggest names in acting, the reboot and its two direct sequels were box office smashes which brought in over a billion dollars internationally.
Taking a ten-year break following the release of Ocean’s 13 in 2008, it wasn’t until 2018 that we were introduced to a followup in the form of Ocean’s 8. Splitting off from the original series, Ocean’s 8 contained an all-female lead cast in what is a growing trend in modern cinema. While both financially successful and generally well-received, Ocean’s 8 didn’t quite generate the legacy of its forebearers.
This had led many to wonder; was Ocean’s 8 the last in the reboot series? If so, what could be the possible reasons for the relatively lackluster reception compared to the previous films, and what might be the eventual fate of the Ocean’s series?
Looking at the Theme
One possible culprit for Ocean 8’s downturn could come from a difference in how we view casinos as a setting in the modern age. At the time when the first reboot released, brick-and-mortar casinos were still enjoying a largely unchallenged dominance in the gambling world, and this was reflected in the way mass-media treated them.
In recent years, however, an enormous amount of casino popularity has shifted to the online world. It used to be that fans of casino games had no choice. Today, you can play online casino games instead. With far improved convenience, a much wider selection of games including hundreds of versions of slots, and bonuses not offered by physical casinos, it’s perhaps not surprising that the appeal of this setting has shifted. While Ocean’s 8 doesn’t directly even involve a casino, unconscious biases are still important, and this could still have played a major part.
A Shift in Focus
Another potential reason for lower enthusiasm for the newer film could come from a greater change in our overall movie sensibilities. Since the release of Iron Man in 2008, blockbuster films have largely revolved around the comic book world and impressive, long action sequences. Though there were undoubtedly elements of action in the reboot trilogy and Ocean’s 8 both, these could in no way match the spectacle of the likes of Avengers: Infinity War. Considering this and other comic book films like Deadpool 2 were directly competing with Ocean’s 8 at the time of release, this could have been a battle lost before it even started.
“AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR TRAILER COMING TO” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by AntMan3001
Future in Doubt?
Combined, these elements raise definite doubts about the future of the Ocean’s reboot series. Multiple routes could be taken, many of which should see success, but unless the involved success was overwhelming, it might be the case that the creative will just isn’t there anymore.
Another all-female film, for example, could be another underrated but prosperous release. Alternatively, it might be possible to draw back parts of the original reboot cast for an even larger ensemble. Finally, it might also be time that the reboot series was itself rebooted, for a new audience in a new age. Only time will tell which direction the Ocean’s franchise will take but we’re sure that many enthusiasts, like us, will be watching closely.