Rarely is very much new.
Of the 45 films Warner Brothers released in 1940, 15 of them were remakes including Bette Davis’ The Letter and Errol Flynn’s The Sea Hawk. Remakes, reboots and sequels have always been a big part of what is produced.
What might be new are the “properties” that get spun-off into movies now. Battleship, for instance. Have you heard my pitch for Hungry Hungry Hippos: The 3D Experience?
ps. I wonder what “new” stories from 2011 were marketed as heavily as these top 10 grossing films.