Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon and 2012: Why Bad Movies Make Good Money

New MoonImage by §atsukiame]Øut for Bløød[ via Flickr

I went to the movies last night. The press screening for The Twilight Saga: New Moon was packed to the rafters with Beatlemania, as women of all ages (but mostly high school and college kids) screamed their approval every time a hunky werewolf or vampire lost his shirt.

The movie is set to make a truckload of money for independent and privately help production studio Summit Entertainment. Executives at 20th Century Fox and MTV Films must be kicking themselves for having the movie rights to Stephenie Meyer's vampiric love story in their hands, only to let the opportunity slip through their fingers. The first Twilight movie collected $384 million in worldwide ticket sales, and this one promises to be even bigger. That's a lot of undead dollars.

The sequel opens up in more theaters than the original installment and also features the kind of midnight opening-day showings you would expect of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. already crowned New Moon as its all-time champion of advance ticket sales, pushing some old Star Wars and Harry Potter releases out of the top spots on that list.

That doesn't necessarily mean that New Moon is a great movie. In fact, it just plain isn't. In some ways, this film is the exact opposite of fellow box office crusher 2012 from Sony's Columbia Pictures: one is a soft teen-romance chick flick with a hint of action while the other is a hardcore special effects extravaganza with a misguided attempt at human emotion, aimed right at the boys.

In other ways, they are exactly the same thing. Both films are poorly constructed yarns with painful flaws outnumbering the enjoyable moments. But they hooks into massive and very dedicated fan bases, and you shouldn't underestimate the spending power of teenage pocket money -- whether in the pockets of males or females. Bad movie but large target demographics equals easy cash. Remember that formula, dear Fool. You will see it again and again.
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