Friday, November 25, 2005


Make or Break Year for Movie Musicals

They've barely returned, but, mark my words, 2005 is a "make or break" year for the current crop of movie musicals. Let's face it. There's nothing Hollywood loves more than a money making formula. "What worked last year? Really? Ok, let's do a lot of THAT!" It's really that simple. The current wave of interest in movie musicals is based primarily on two films: Moulin Rouge in 2001 and Chicago in 2002. The critical and boxoffice success of these two films fueled the return of what was once a staple of Hollywood production. However, as happy as Hollywood is to crank out a formula (in this case, the movie musical), it's equally as willing to pull the plug on that formula, as soon as it seems it isn't working. And the wait time isn't long. Sure, it was excitement over movie musicals, which allowed Phantom of the Opera -- one of the most successful Broadway productions of all time -- to finally make it to the screen in 2004, after years of development hell. But it flopped. While it was flopping, two other musicals had already been green lighted for the screen from sheer momentum of the Chicago success. Hollywood was willing to give Phantom a pass. But if this year's offerings -- Rent and The Producers -- tank, look for a quick retreat.

Today I saw "Rent." I had not seen the stage production and new only a little about it prior to seeing it. It was really very good. What great themes! And the music was incredible. I heard one of the actors say that it is the kind of story that grows in you and every time you see you gain something new. I can see how that would be true.

So my take...if they make more movies like "Rent" I would go to see them.
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