Thursday, 7 May 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #282: The Law of Relativity Goes Rogue

Come gather round children and I'll tell you a little story about keeping your eye on the ball.

A while ago Universal Pictures started Rogue Pictures to make low budget horror and action flicks, with decidedly mixed results.

Then along came Relativity, a film investment company that already had a relationship with Universal financing many of their productions. For some reason the folks who run Relativity decided that a film company with a lackluster box-office record, a mediocre, at best, library, and no independent distribution capability would make a wonderful purchase.

Now Relativity has started a whole new campaign in partnership with the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas to re-create the Rogue brand as a "film and lifestyle property."

I'm not sure how low-budget horror movie remakes are exactly a "lifestyle" and I'm definitely not sure how this deal is going to help either company. You see Rogue Pictures is going to slap their name on a theater, a few slot machines, and I believe a some bar-stools to do some grandstanding to boost the company's "brand" standing.

Which brings me to the point of this little fable, which is: This is not going to work.

Why won't it work?

When was the last time you paid money to see a movie because you liked a studio's logo?

Please, take a moment to think about it, I can wait.

Still can't come up with an answer?

Well I'll bet dinars to donuts that none of you have ever gone to a movie out of some sense of "brand loyalty" to the studio. People go to movies because they want to see that specific film, not because it was made by Warner Bros., Fox, or even Rogue. Movies are not chewing gum, and despite the factory like approach most studios would like to take in making them, each film is an individual project, designed for a specific facet of the audience.

Disney can do it to a limited extent, because they dominate the kids market. They know it, and they sell to it, and only it, but even that has its drawbacks, just look at their latest profit-report.

Rogue makes the sort of movies that teenagers and adults view as campy schlocky guilty pleasures at best, and unwatchable tedious dreck at worst. Folks are not going to decide to base their "lifestyle" on The Hitcher remake, or American Pie Presents: Beta House.

The only way a movie company can create a "brand" for itself is through its movies. They have to make movies that people will pay money to see, hopefully several times over. Then and only then can a company really claim that your company has a "brand" and even then you can only be know for doing the best you can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment