How many more Superhero and Pirate movies can they make? Film expert available to talk about the market for big-budget sequelsJune 1, 20172 min read
Prior to seeing the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, audiences are introduced to a flurry of previews for upcoming films -- big-budget sequels centered on blockbusting standards: warring apes, animated cars, web-slinging and hammer-bearing superheroes, and space-based lightsaber battles between forces of good and evil.
Chris Hansen, M.F.A., independent filmmaker and chair of the film and digital media department in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, is available to talk about the market for big-budget sequels and the challenges for original screenplays.
Is there any hope for the original story?
“One of the biggest considerations in determining which movies get made, from the studio’s perspective, is marketing,” Hansen said. “That process is made much easier if the intellectual property already exists in the minds of the general public. People know who Batman is. People know who The Avengers are. Half or more of the marketing work is done. When the intellectual property is original, the studio’s marketing arm has to spend a lot more time and money acquainting viewers with the concept and generating interest.”
“It’s hard to say what people are really interested in seeing. They say one thing, but they often vote differently with their box office dollars. This sometimes comes down to an economic decision for audience members. They have less disposable income than they used to, so they see fewer movies in the theater. And if they’re going to have to choose between several movies to see in an actual theater, they’ll often choose the one that has more spectacle, because there’s a feeling that it’s more ‘worth it’ to see something like that on the big screen, and that smaller movies won’t suffer from being seen on the TV in your living room.”
Christopher Hansen, M.F.A. Chair of the Department of Film and Digital Media
Digital media expert and filmmaker, working on new feature and short projects