Monday, November 29, 2010

A Tribute to Leslie Nielsen and a Look at the Box Office

Before we talk about the Box Office, I'd like to take a moment to remember the late-great Leslie Nielsen, who passed away yesterday. There's a lot that you can take away from him... and I'm serious. The guy was in his 50's when "Airplane!" came out and it completely rejuvenated his career... prior to that, he was a serious actor playing serious roles and then came the role of Dr. Rumack in "Airplane!", directly followed by the infamous character, Lt. Frank Drebin. He had always wanted to do comedy, but it wasn't in the cards... until "Airplane!". Goes to show that it's never too late. He was working all the way to the end, too. He was doing some voice work for an upcoming film and had made some guest appearances on various TV shows. Surely, he will be missed... and he will, but don't call him Shirley.

The results at the Box Office got me thinking... Horror, action, sci-fi and like-minded genres are crying out for an alternative market. I mean, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" continued to dominate and "Tangled", the 3D Disney animated take-off on "Rapunzel", tore into the theaters right behind it. A distant third? "Burlesque" Way down at the 7th place? The 70's inspired Dwayne "Don't call me The Rock" Johnson vehicle, "Faster". When I talk about an alternate market, it comes from this question - Is there really room for smaller, original, niche genre films on the big screen?

The answer, really, is no. The studios really just want franchise films and films that cater to as broad an audience as possible. This is bad times for genre fans and, especially bad times for aspiring filmmakers of genre films... or is it? My thought is, the market needs to change. Fans of genre films aren't going anywhere. If anything, that market is growing. However, it's tough to cater to that market with one big film, you know what I mean? All horror fans wouldn't be satisfied by one big studio horror film, but almost all fans of family films would be satisfied by something like "Tangled" or "Harry Potter". So, a new market needs to be made and, obviously, the market has to be in home entertainment.

That home entertainment market is growing and changing, but it hasn't hit a tipping point yet. I've noticed new indie horror films on Netflix's streaming service, there's lots of new web-based horror series' and Amazon is filled with new horror. Having said that, it hasn't hit critical mass. Change is coming, though... it's just not coming fast enough for me.

Speaking of new horror on DVD, check back in tomorrow and we'll see what's coming out this week.

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