Rush Hour 2 was and still is one of my favorite movies ever. Rush Hour 3 also had its great moments. I was just excited that there was another one to go watch and re-watch. So…where’s Rush Hour 4?
The sequels you tend to see come off the tail of high-profile blockbusters or multi-part stories. Let’s be honest, “Harry Potter 9 – The Owl That Got Away” could have come out in theaters, and people would have flocked to see it. But oftentimes, the lower profile movies which may attract a smaller group of followers don’t get their sequels. Or in my case, even though Rush Hour got its third movie, I STILL have a personal willingness to pay to see yet another installment in the kung-fu comedy series.
Is there a way we can capture the willingness to pay of these smaller fan bases to fund the movie sequels that studios otherwise wouldn’t make? In this blog post, I am proposing a platform that could help crowdfund the production of these non-blockbuster movie sequels. Users could submit their movie sequel demands and ideas on the platform. Studios could provide funding goals to produce the volunteered sequel, baking into the value the necessary return they would require. Users could then pre-purchase their ticket to the movie as their contribution to movie-funding.
A platform like this would create value in two main ways for movie studios, which must ultimately commit and take action to make these movie sequels. First, it would greatly reduce the risk in making a movie. Movie sequel or not, studios take major risks when making a movie. Aside from investing huge sums of money to produce a movie, they must then invest large amounts of money to market a movie to drive their ultimate goal of ticket sales. Instead of making a movie and hoping for ticket sales, this platform would reverse the process, guaranteeing the ticket sales (if successfully crowdfunded) that a studio would need to produce and get a return on a particular film sequel. While some studios might see this guaranteed revenue as a means to game the system and produce a poor movie in exchange for pre-paid ticket sales, their incentive would be to keep producing high enough quality films to ensure demand for additional movies.
This platform would also create value for studios by reducing the costs of making a movie. As mentioned above, the costs to market a movie are substantial and can reach hundreds of millions of dollars. This crowdfunding approach to producing movie sequels would in most cases eliminate the need to market movies. Fans are pre-paying for their tickets, and you already have engaged fans who have taken the steps to fund the movies they want to see. You don’t need to spend money to build awareness. This crowdfunding approach therefore reduces the overall cost of making a movie, and additional ticket sales outside of crowdfunders go straight to the bottom line.
Like many other crowdfunding platforms, this movie-funding platform could take a transaction fee off any successfully funded movie that gets green-lit. Focusing on movies that actually get green-lit would incentivize the platform to promote sequels that are getting serious funding traction and to work closely with studios to get accurate funding goals onto the platform.
Underlying this entire proposal is the belief that many movies have fans whom are willing to pay to see a sequel. Ultimately, the motivation for these contributors to participate is the eventual movie they get to enjoy. The platform could also host special events for the releases and premiers of crowdfunded movies to incentives funders (I’ve never been to a premier, that would probably be pretty darn cool).
While studios currently need to take bets on each movie they make, this platform would reduce the cost and risk to studios to produce more niche movie sequels and capture the willingness to pay of fans eager to see the sequel to a movie they already loved.