Once upon a time, many mainstream record companies would insist that a new signee’s first release would be a cover: covers were almost guaranteed hits. People like familiarity, people like the comfortable…so Kylie Minogue hit big way back when with a nonsense song like “Locomotion”, and The Fugees released a cover of “Killing Me Softly” even as much of their intended audience didn’t necessarily know the original song. There are many acts who never had the second hit after that first cover. But in every case, the record company felt that they could make back their (significant) financial investment with at least that one cover.
The thinking was always that it’s easier to take a chance on some percentage of known quantity rather than a complete unknown. A hit song is one that has a hook that worked…
And so it is with the movie and tv biz. Endlessly, fans whine, “Why not just make something new?” Yes. In a world where a big Hollywood movie can easily run $150 million even without ‘big’ name stars, why don’t studios “just” make something new? Because it’s a business, and they want to make money. If they risk money on an unknown and lose out, eventually they will be out of business. And guaranteed hits help pay for their riskier new projects, the ones with unknown stars or new writers. So the companies look for a hit that can be covered…be it an old movie, a comic book, or an old tv show, or a book series, something that has had success, something for which they know there is an audience.
Given the endless writings when Bridesmaids was scheduled two years ago, given all the pronouncements that it’s success or lack thereof would dictate For All Time whether the world could deal with the complete strangeness of having an all woman cast, given the utter and complete nonsense debate every single time a woman is announced as a star of pretty much anything…is it really so surprising that a movie company looking to have an all-women cast would tap an old product to remake?
No, no it is not. Well, not to me…apparently it’s an awful big shock to an awful lot of someones who are convinced that the movie company should be paying more attention to that someone’s $12 than the $120 million or more they’ll pay for a feature.