With the success of the musical special Grease Live, it's clear that both Hollywood and audiences have a taste for bringing back beloved hits. But is there more to our love affair with popular stories or do we just enjoy recycling the same stuff over and over?

Groundhog Daytells the humorous story of a weatherman trapped in the celebrated town of a furry rodent revered for his uncanny ability to predict the winter’s outcome. Eventually the reluctant hero, played by comedy veteran Bill Murray, realizes that unless he sets things right, he’s doomed to repeat the same 24 hours over and over again.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same basic story of 2014 sci-fi film, Edge of Tomorrow. Before Tom Cruise recently announced that he’s ready to jump back in the cockpit for the sequel Top Gun 2, the actor starred in the movie where his reluctant character has to fix things with invading aliens or repeat history again and again.

At first, both main characters are rather glib about repeatedly getting killed. This matches how they start off only really caring about themselves. But eventually, the stakes are raised when both Murray and Cruise’s character realizes how much they do care about others around them, especially the inevitable love interests, Andie McDowell and Emily Blunt respectively.

Shakespeare first showed the world the entertainment power of “nothing new under the sun.” But it was Joseph Campbell that put it together, showing us the magic of the hero’s journey. George Lucas admitted himself that if it hadn’t been for Campbell’s work he probably would still have been trying to write Star Wars years later.

While it’s clear that Hollywood has been rehashing old material for some time, audiences know the difference between skillful storytelling familiar plotlines and cheap imitation.

Done well, audiences are glad to fork over our credit cards. Otherwise, they'll vote with their wallets and look for something better. In a mobile age of multiplexes and many options, everything is just a short distance or a click away.

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