Has 'Glee' Waded Into Uncharted Waters --- Too Deep And A Bit Off-Key?

 

"Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" hasn't conquered movie theaters --- unlike what the franchise accomplished with television, iTune downloads, and live concert tours.

Seems "Glee" took one entertainment step too many. Fox Filmed Entertainment looked to do what any modern media company with a big valuable asset would do -- eke out a few more shekels, not the least of which would come from a premium 3D ticket price.

The movie -- with a pretty nice wide release on over 2,000 screens -- earned a humble $6 million this past weekend, coming in 11th place among all movies. But, one Fox executive told The Wrap, the studio knew the film wouldn't be a lock, that it could be going into "uncharted waters."

"Glee"'s pedigree wouldn't have signaled this. Even before its premiere a couple of seasons ago, Fox television executives had sold the show highly to critics as the next big thing. And -- rare for such claims - "Glee" delivered big juicy ratings. Next came those music sales, then the concerts.

All that is hard to do in the ever-more competitive entertainment world. And give "Glee" some more credit: It will honor its storyline. Those "Glee" kids entering their senior year this season will need to "graduate" -- that is, leave the show. (Hey, the cast of Disney Channel's "High School Musical" needed to graduate as well. And, mind you, there is already talk of a "Glee" spinoff.)

What went wrong with the movie? While "Glee" has done a lot for Fox in its short history, some critics say fans perhaps didn't need more of the "Glee"-sters singing songs they had already heard on the TV show, via iTunes, or in concert.

Reasons the film might have worked included:

  • It was a summer movie, arriving after the TV show's season had ended
  • Summer movies attract the same consumer demographic as "Glee" on TV - young people
  • Concert movies based on similar young-skewing TV shows made money. For example, 2008's "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" opened at $31.1 million, and 2009's "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" at $19.16 million.

    In addition, the "Glee" movie got high review marks.

    Next question: What happens to brand "Glee" now?

    xxx Clarification to TV Watch for Aug. 16, "Some Networks Should Take More TV Advertising -- And Stop The Kvetching": the AMC show "Mad Men" has been renewed for seasons five and six, returning with new episodes in 2012.

    Tags: television, tv
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    2 comments about "Has 'Glee' Waded Into Uncharted Waters --- Too Deep And A Bit Off-Key? ".
    1. Michael Kaplan from Blue Sky Creative , August 19, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.

      It's nice you put in reasons the film MIGHT have worked. How about some reasons the film MIGHT NOT have worked:

      * Glee is overexposed. Was there really pent-up demand to see MORE of these kids?'
      * Negative press. Too many stories about which cast members were leaving (or not).
      * Lack of promotion. This film got lost in the shuffle with lots of other, competing product.
      * 3-D. People may be tired of paying the extra $4 per ticket.

    2. David Plant from Cameron Thomson , August 19, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.

      How about this...Fox Pictures 'tongue-in-cheek' negative ad campaign backfired. Negative advertising never works and if it is self-directed at your own product, don't expect to have a run-away success. http://www.adrants.com/2011/07/sue-sylvester-urges-people-not-to-watch.php.