Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
August 15, 2006
High School Musical is the Grease of 2006. Scary, no?Kim Hollis: Do you think the unprecedented success of Disney's cable movie breakout, High School Musical, had any impact on Step Up?
David Mumpower: I absolutely do. High School Musical is a true phenomenon. We're talking about a made-for-cable movie that grew to be a number one soundtrack and bestselling DVD. That thing has ruled the TV on DVD charts since its release, and it has whetted the appetites of teens for similarly themed films. In fact, High School Musical is still the bigger money maker for Disney over Step Up. An argument could be made it's their biggest success story of the year, even over Dead Man's Chest.
Joel Corcoran: I'm sure the two movies are connected, Kim. At the very least, I think the word-of-mouth success of High School Musical might have planted the seed for pushing Step Up to the same audience. High School Musical is like a Serenity-level breakout, but for a much different audience.
Tim Briody: I'd say it absolutely is since, everyone saw Pirates coming...not to the level it performed, I know, but High School Musical didn't have any kind of buzz at all.
Kim Hollis: I see them as two different things, but maybe I have a varied perspective than most teenagers. If I'm comparing this to movies I loved during my teen years, High School Musical is this generation's Grease, while Step Up is their Footloose.
David Mumpower: That's a brilliant analogy, Kim. The one aspect I am certain about is that Step Up's performance guarantees High School Musical 2 gets a theatrical release. Disney is simply throwing money away if they do it any other way.
Tim Briody: That would be a fascinating first if that happens.
Nobody puts BOP in a corner.Dan Krovich: Step Up is more like their Dirty Dancing. It's the boy from the wrong side of the tracks and the privileged girl.
Kim Hollis: Yeah, but I watched Footloose in the theater about seven times and only saw Dirty Dancing for the first time about five years ago.
David Mumpower: Nobody puts up Step Up in a corner!
Kim Hollis: Also, shouldn't Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights have been their Dirty Dancing?
David Mumpower: Even Blues Brothers 2000 laughs at the quality of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
Dan Krovich: So after She's the Man and Step Up is Channing Tatum a legitimate star now?
David Mumpower: I would say no, Dan, but I might be in the wrong demographic to make that judgment. He's had a good 2006, but how many people over 21 do you think could name him?
Reagen Sulewski: He sounds like a laboratory experiment that blended several other teen actors into one.
We are making fewer low budget films...maybe. But probably not now.Kim Hollis: What impact do you think Step Up's success will have on Disney's decision to cut back on projects such as these?
Dan Krovich: I don't think it will change their strategy. They'll convince themselves that this is the one of these that they would have decided to make.
David Mumpower: That's a fascinating question, Kim. Disney is ostensibly going to do the same number of larger projects. They see those as safe financially despite Warner Bros.'s attempt to prove otherwise. The ones they are less enthusiastic about are smaller to middling projects. If they had made this move in 2005, Step Up never explodes. If I'm a Disney exec, that is eye-opening.
Tim Briody: It depends on whether or not they create a MySpace page for their projects.
David Mumpower: Any film released in the next two years gets a MySpace page. That's not even a question any more.
Joel Corcoran: And then we'll have to move on to whatever becomes the next hot venue.
Reagen Sulewski: Like any other trend, Hollywood will drive it into the ground, then write a whole new set of conventional wisdom based on that.
Dan Krovich: On the other hand you don't change your production and marketing strategy based on one movie.
David Mumpower: You shouldn't if there is certainty the strategy is sound. If you are on the fence about it, this becomes more impacting. If there is a second Step Up surprise in the next eight months, we'll see Disney gradually erode this strategy, I would think.