Monday, May 3, 2010

Paramount Not Staying Classy

I had meant to have this as part of my last post, but I forgot. Apparently, Paramount has passed on a sequel to 2004's ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY. Director Adam McKay wrote on his twitter account that the studio had passed on his proposed follow-up to the intensely popular film. He followed up his comments several hours later with some more bad news: Paramount owns the rights to the film, therefore he will not be able to shop it around at other studios. ANCHORMAN 2 will never get made.

I'm disappointed by this. I'm not a huge Will Ferrell supporter. It was actually my dislike of him that kept me from seeing this in theaters. However, I caught it on DVD and was completely blown away. This is one of my favorite comedies of all time and, to me, a sequel sounds like a great opportunity. The important members of the cast are enthusiastic about the project and though their price tags might be a bit higher than when they did the first film, I can only imagine it would be worth the extra money. Paul Rudd and Steve Carell now rival, if not surpass, Ferrell in popularity, but that just means more interest and better box-office returns for the film. Yes, Ferrell's movies aren't always a success at the box-office, but that doesn't mean he still can't draw a crowd. Again, I'm not a huge fan of the actor, but his Ron Burgundy character won me over. Some of his films do so poorly because they look stupid or are completely pointless. I've oftentimes thought to myself "he should just put the mustache back on and go back to doing what he did best". I guess he won't get the chance and he'll be relegated to making more crummy and pointless films.

This decision says one things to me: Paramount doesn't know what people want. It's as if they have a computer making their decisions for them. It sees that ANCHORMAN didn't make a TON of money and that Ferrell's movies haven't done too well lately and it decides "pass". It doesn't see that the film has done huge numbers on DVD, that it possesses an enormous following and that the demand for a sequel is actually quite high. This might be the reason for another decision coming out of Paramount today: a ZOOLANDER sequel has also been passed on. I don't love the film, but it's another good example of a movie with a huge following that would likely play very well in theaters. The film's star, Ben Stiller, wrote on his Twitter account, addressing both films' fates: "Ron Burgundy and Derek Zoolander looking to appear in sequels. Both men destitute, without means or intellect to fund their own comebacks." I only hope that Paramount reconsiders or that someone else gets a chance to make these films and allow Burgundy and Zoolander the chance to shine again.

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