With much of movie production financing sources dried up, Hollywood’s been turning increasingly to sure bets.
In other words SEQUELS!
Network television by comparison has cut way back on filmed entertainment shows which can cost up to $2.5 million per episode. Opting instead for those cheap-to-produce, dreadful reality, amateur talent and cheesy dance shows with price tags at a mere fraction.
Think in the neighborhood of $250K for today’s TV reality fluff.
Hard to believe, but when it comes to making movies it’s easier for studios to get a high-priced tentpole motion picture financed than an unknown, mid-priced property. Regardless of its storyline or quality.
Don’t believe me? Then ask Craig "King of Sting" Glazer sometime. He’ll give you an earful.
And if that tentpole project falls into the catagory of one of the major franchise properties, then watch the Brinks truck pull up to the studio’s finance department.
And thus sequels, in the eyes of corporate Hollywood, are like insurance policies.
The original film may have opened to good boxoffice grosses and held on for weeks in theatres. But by comparison the sequel now has the built-in ‘Want to See’ factor and more likely than not will open even bigger than the original. Not to mention that the studio already owns the rights to the property.
Which begs the question of whether to give fans more of the same or make major changes in the sequel.
And 9 out of 10 times the studios will play it safe and try to give the audience more—or at least the same—of what made the original a hit in the first place (the same thinking has gone into pop music follow-ups for years).
Example: THE HANGOVER vs. THE HANGOVER Part 2 in which the surprise and freshness-factor was pretty well shot. And if HANGOVER 3 ends up as formulaic as is rumored in Amsterdam, how much you wanna bet the boys get into similar trouble there as well?
They’ll probably end up sticking a finger in a dyke……
Filmmaker Michael Bay recently apologized for TRANSFORMERS 2.
Sure it was huge in worldwide ticket sales—but pretty lame compared to the original. Bay blamed # 2 on a then pending strike in Hollywood which allegedly forced him to rush the project through. He’s promising a much improved TRANSFORMERS 3 when it opens here on June 29th.
Make no mistake, the industry would love to see a return to the good old days of the 80’s and 90’s when Europe’s lavish production funding for American films were unlimited and governments like Germany’s extended tremendous tax breaks to the big spenders.
I doubt we’ll ever see that again.
The closest funding tools today are Canadian tax incentives—but only if the movies are shot up north! That’s why we all too often see cities like Vancouver and Toronto doubling for New York and Chicago.
So get used to Hollywood playing it safe with its continued franchises and sequels.
It’s today’s sorry film entertainment state-of-reality.