In looking to see what movies have been released recently, I could not help but notice the existence of sequels to movies that never really struck me as being particularly franchisable.

See what I mean:
Blair Witch (2016)
Hard Target 2
Honey 3: Dare to Dance
Bridget Jones’s Baby
Kickboxer: Vengeance

Each one of these a sequel (or a sequel to a sequel) to a movie that came out 10 years prior. (Hard Target 2, for example, comes out 23 years after Hard Target 1. The original Kickboxer came out in 1989 and Kickboxer 5 came out (DTV) in 1995.)

Sure, the fields have been lying fallow and there is likely pent-up demand among some segment of the public who walked away from, say, Honey 2 thinking “man, they need to make a Honey 3”, but it seems a bit more likely that this reveals one of the issues with funding a movie production rather than one of the issues with demand.

If I wished to make a somewhat mindless action movie or a somewhat tense “found footage” horror flick, before we can talk about whether we’d be able to get funding, we have to talk about whether I’d even get halfway through my elevator pitch. HOWEVER, if I said “you know the movie Honey? What I’m thinking about is that, only it’s a Romeo and Juliet story. Honey 3, we’ll call it”, then I’ve got a solid idea in the mind of the producer that covers a broad idea (dance flick/hip-hop), plotlines (Romeo and Juliet, except maybe everybody doesn’t die? We’ll see what the writers say), and we know that it’s going to be much easier to market based on how most folks out there know that Honey is a dance movie so this sequel is going to be in the same vein.

Even if they would have been 100% willing to watch “It’s a dance movie, hip-hop flavor, Romeo/Juliet story”, merely putting “Honey” on the name of the box gets them there in five letters. And that’s true for everything from romantic comedy to slasher flick to space opera.

And now we just have to see how these movies do at either the box office or how they do at the direct-to-Blu-ray market.

But I do find myself surprised at how hungry the producers are for a franchise that they’ll go back 20 years to find something to make a sequel to.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?

(Featured Image is “Edison’s Telephonoscope” by George du Maurier from Punch Almanack for 1879)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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21 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. Can you blame them?

    Hell or Highwater is pretty much the perfect movie, and it grossed $600,000 in its opening weekend.

    Batman Versus Superman, on the other hand, grossed over $166,000,000 in its opening weekend.

    I think the only conclusion is that people are fishing stupid, and that no one with an IQ greater than 40 goes to the movie theater anymore.


    • They ate their own seed corn, I guess.

      We also happen to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to entertainment. Why limit yourself to the perfect 97 minute movie when you could watch the perfect 8 or 10 or 12 hours of serial television shows?

      How is a sword/sorcery flick supposed to top Game of Thrones?
      How is a superhero flick supposed to top Seasons One&Two of Daredevil?

      Pretty much the only way to do so is to make one heck of a music video.

      If people want drama… why in the world would they limit themselves to a mere two hours?

      The movie has become, effectively, the short story.


      • Short stories continue to be an absolute bitch to write, in comparison to novels.
        Done well, they’re better than novels (less slack, less filler, less fluff).

        But to do a blockbuster movie right, you hire TV writers. Because they understand tension and how to make things awesome without busting the budget.

        Dale and Tucker versus Evil is the quintessential “small ball” version of that premise.
        Skyfall is the quintessential “homerun ball” version of that premise.


  2. From what I understand, this Blair Witch movie was filmed as a stand alone movie, then re edited with some minimal required reshoots to shoehorn it into the Blair Witchoverse and get that marketing synergy.


  3. But I do find myself surprised at how hungry the producers are for a franchise that they’ll go back 20 years to find something to make a sequel to.

    Hey, it’s not just movies. We have Clinton running against a crazy billionaire and Bell Biv DeVoe has a new song out. We’re borrowing so much from 1992, I’m watching football this season thinking I have Calculus homework due the day.


  4. Well, reading Left Hand of Darkness, started last night. Good so far, considering the author it should hold up.

    Watching The Magicians which is quite fun. Seems to be a cross between Harry Potter and The Rules of Attraction. Make of that what you will.


  5. Two quick stories:

    When the original Blair Witch movie came out I went to see it with some friends on a Friday evening. It was scary, but didn’t seem to rattle me too much until…the next morning when I went deer hunting in an area that required me to walk about a mile through some deep woods. Since it was well before sunrise I would usually walk in by flashlight, but that actually seemed to mimic what I saw the night before and I managed to work myself up pretty good. I ended up navigating by moonlight for the last half-mile just to avoid giving myself a heart attack, having only a bow and arrow to protect myself against the terrors of the forest. It was not fun.

    Also, about a month after the movies came out I stopped by a friend’s house to see if he wanted to grab a beer. He wasn’t home and after waiting for 20 minutes I was bored. I found a bunch of sticks laying next to his garage and so I also located some twine. I fashioned one of those stick figures from the movie and hung it above the door to his house. And left. I waited several days to tell him about it. He then told me that he slept with a gun under his pillow that night. Yes, I was a terrible person. And yes, it was hilarious.


    Anyway, watched Bone Tomahawk on a flight home from Florida on Friday. It was surprisingly good. The dialogue reminded me of True Grit and the plot was interesting, with a good payoff at the end.


    • I saw Blair Witch on TV, and of course nothing is all that scary when you’re in your own living room, but I could still feel the growing terror of the characters. And, at a time when horror films were pretty much all slasher and gore and gross-out, this one relied entirely on fear of the unknown and unseen. I thought it was brilliant.


      • Some of the Blair With trivia at IMDB is hilarious:

        This film was in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Top Budget: Box Office Ratio” (for a mainstream feature film). The film cost $60,000 to make and made back $248 million, a ratio of $1 spent for every $10,931 made. One of the video cameras used by the actors was bought at Circuit City. After filming was completed, the producers returned the camera for a refund, making their budget money go even further.


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