How to create a successful Summer movie

Ala Spider-Man:

Rule 1: Make It Half Action, Half Romance
Like Titanic, Spider-Man carefully splits its time between these two themes, allowing it to evenly nail what Hollywood these days calls all four demographic quadrants: male, female, under 25 and 25 and over. (The breakdown for the opening Saturday night was 54% male, 46% female, 52% 25 and over, 48% under.) Kids may be the heart of summer-movie sales, but adults pay full price and fill up the seats in late-night showings. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is trying to do this too, but women aren’t buying it; a tracking survey from last week showed men were much more interested in seeing the movie than women.

Rule 2: Start Early
Ever since Twister grossed $41 million the weekend of May 10, 1996, the summer has inched back into May. Spider-Man has probably cemented this. “It does allow an advantage in getting theater shelf space because you’re ahead of the pack,” says Jeff Blake, the head of Sony marketing and distribution. By going early, Spider-Man got in 7,500 screens out of about 35,000 for its big weekend.

Rule 3: Save Your Stars
When you’ve got a franchise like Spider-Man, you’d be a fool to pay an actor $20 million; Tobey Maguire got $4 million. Studios will work even harder to find scripts like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Incredible Hulk in which the idea itself is the marquee. One irony of all this is that it makes movies more like television. Says Walter Parkes, the co-head of DreamWorks’ film division: “The network-television business is really about three things: demographics, scheduling and series. We’re becoming a little bit like that.”

Rule 4: Don’t Worry Too Much About the Writing
Complicated exposition falls away with costumes, special effects, good-looking actors and a protagonist who can shoot a white, gooey liquid 100 feet into the air from his wrists. When the genre is the star, the script doesn’t have to be.

Rule 5: Get Kirsten Dunst Wet
Not every movie can have a scene in which Dunst’s pink shirt gets soaked in the rain before she makes out with a guy in spandex headgear, but many will try to work it into the plot somehow.

Hehe. Rule 5. 🙂


One thought on “How to create a successful Summer movie

  1. I thought that you thought up rule 5, but I guess I was wrong… Still the best rule of them all though!

    #1 | Comment by scloop — May 14, 2002 @ 8:35 pm

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