Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Two. Two. Two Hits In One!

Now that audiences gave grown bored and frustrated with the 3D fad, Hollywood is scrambling to find another gimmick to lure us into the theaters. Their latest attempt: the Two Part Movie.

Warner Bros. started it all when they announced they were going to split the final Harry Potter movie into two parts, whether it needed it or not. Of course they said they had to have two movies in order to "properly service the story," but it doesn't take a genius to figure out their true motive: extending the franchise from seven movies to eight and raking in another billion dollars.

Then the Twilight franchise got in on the act, splitting the last movie "Breaking Dawn" into two very lucrative parts. New Line is also splitting The Hobbit in two, which will come this close to giving them another profitable trilogy.

So who will be next to split their movies in twain? According to actor Vin Diesel, it's the Fast and The Furious franchise (!). Said Mr. Diesel in a recent interview:
With the success of this last one, and the inclusion of so many characters, and the broadening of scope, when we were sitting down to figure out what would fit into the real estate of number six, we didn’t have enough space.

We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages. The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’
Spoken like a true marketing man. So there's really enough story and character relationships in those F&F movies to fill two whole films? I must have missed all that between the scenes of cars jumping over buildings.

It's painfully obvious that excess story has nothing to do with these two-parters; like everything else in Hollywood it's all about money. If you make a plain old sequel, there's no guarantee that the audience will come back for it. But if you end your movie on a cliffhanger with a big ol' "To Be Continued In Part Two!" then it's a given they'll be back.

Looks like we're returning to the days of movie serials, except now you have to wait between six months and a year for the next chapter instead of a week.

UPDATE: Not long after I posted this, New Line added yet another installment to The Hobbit, officially stretching it into a trilogy after all.

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