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
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)