Recommended Reading: ‘The Day the Movies Died’
Four adaptations of comic books. One prequel to an adaptation of a comic book. One sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a toy. One sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on an amusement-park ride. One prequel to a remake. Two sequels to cartoons. One sequel to a comedy. An adaptation of a children’s book. An adaptation of a Saturday-morning cartoon. One sequel with a 4 in the title. Two sequels with a 5 in the title. One sequel that, if it were inclined to use numbers, would have to have a 7 1/2 in the title.
And it gets no better in 2012:
Here’s what’s on tap two summers from now: an adaptation of a comic book. A reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a sequel to an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a TV show. A sequel to a sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a young-adult novel. And soon after: Stretch Armstrong. You remember Stretch Armstrong, right? That rubberized doll you could stretch and then stretch again, at least until the sludge inside the doll would dry up and he would become Osteoporosis Armstrong? A toy that offered less narrative interest than bingo?
And what’s truly horrifying? I looked at his list of titles and he missed a bunch. There’s at least one movie with $200 million dollar budget based on a game that springs to mind. Not a computer game, mind you– a board game.
Hell, I’m expecting a movie version of Minesweeper any day now. (Having said this, I just looked on YouTube, and lo and behold…)
Luckily, no one’s made a movie of Hungry Hungry Hippos yet, although now that I have committed this to pixels, somebody inevitably will make it.
I’d say this is just a movie phenomenon, but really– how much streamlining is going on in the comics industry themselves? Both DC and Marvel seem to be streamlining everything down to seven major brand lines each, leaving precious little room to breathe and make something new.
The worst takeaway from the article:
The good news is that the four-quadrant theory of marketing may now be eroding. The bad news is that it’s giving way to something worse—a new classification that encompasses all ages and both genders: the “I won’t grow up” demographic.
Does that sound like the current hardcore fanbase of comics to you too?