Sundance? So What?
Detroit News film critic Tom Long poses an interesting question: If a film screens in the Rockies, will anyone see it? The 2012 Sundance Film Festival starts today. Long points out that the festival, started by Robert Redford, has introduced top directors and actors over the past two decades, but leaves serious doubt about the impact the indie film world is having on theaters these days.
"Virtually all of last year's Sundance 'hits' bombed when it came to the general marketplace," he writes. "The tense 'Martha Marcy May Marlene,' which was supposed to make Elizabeth Olsen a star, eeked out less than $3 million. 'Like Crazy,' with Anton Yelchin and the fabulous Felicity Jones, made less than $4 million, likely not near its production and marketing costs," he writes.
He says that while these and other films are good and relevant, there's a good chance few will get picked up "after such a financially dismal 2011 crop. Money's tight everywhere and the few Sundance films that did make a bit of cash last year -- 'Buck,' 'Margin Call,' 'Our Idiot Brother' -- may not be enough to convince buyers this year. Of course, every time Sundance looks to be dead, another 'Little Miss Sunshine', 'Precious' or 'Once' appears. Hopefully that happens this year. Or 2013 could get really ugly." "Batman 14," anyone?