GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

A suit's eye view on Serenity and sequels

POSTED BY: TIREDOLDREAVER
UPDATED: Sunday, October 30, 2005 08:03
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Sunday, October 23, 2005 8:56 AM

TIREDOLDREAVER


First time on the board, but have been following with obsessive interest the movie returns. I have zero experience of the film industry, but in my normal life, my company manages various similar budget (£25m +) promotions, and one thing I do know, about sequels/further TV episodes etc. is that it is down to two factors only, namely Risk vs Profit.
Looking at the returns, I heaved a sigh of relief as the cinema takes went past $30million. It's getting into cost management breakeven territory now. Why? Well firstly the production budget is stated as $39million. In my business I would be expected to go in and cost manage that figure, (a)by looking again at all costs, (b)negotiating reductions, discounts off suppliers, etc etc. I would normally be given a small marketing budget and would be allowed to use the savings (after our fees!) to bolster said marketing spend. That, I believe would account for the current advertising spend on Serenity. I'd be hopeful of getting a $39m project in and done and marketed for around $37m.
OK, it's a no brainer if the income is $80m, but then people like me wouldn't exist.The trick is to turn what income you've got into a profit. It's no surprise therefore to see some of the Intrenational film launches cancelled and put straight to DVD.Guaranteeing smaller returns without further significant advertising outlay is sensible.
Income wise, the picture is far from gloomy.I don't know what percentages the studio actually retains (BoxofficeMojo says 55%, posters on this board have said up to 80% in the first couple of weeks). I've estimated therefore a midway percentage, which suggests that the studio has recovered $20m already off $30.5m gate receipts.If I were cost managing this,I would be looking to squeeze this over the next two to three weeks to try and push the studio net up to around $25m. That should be more than achievable. I've seen elsewhere that TV rights are being sold off for 2008 (again a figure of $3m was quoted on this board for US only) and I'm sure there's more to be sold elsewhere. Again, early days but $5m should not be unachievable, seeing as $3m is already in the bag. That leaves the DVD market about which so much has been speculated.Again, I have no expertise in this industry, but given the likely retail price, and industry margins, I would imagine the studio will have set as an absolute minimum, similar sales to the Firefly DVD, and gross margins could be around $12-$14 per DVD. Assuming 500,000 sold (again a figure I got from off the board)it puts the project at breakeven. There are two big plusses to add, however.
1.So far, assuming the stated average cinema ticket price of $6, 5 million people have seen Serenity. That is a real market, and all efforts will be used by the studio to convert as many of those viewers into DVD sales as possible.
2.The strength of the base. The fan base is not going away.It becomes a simple financial equation once more. There's 5 million proven fans out there, willing to pay $6 a movie ticket up to $20 a DVD and points in between.What can Joss/The Studio produce and get in front of those fans, and make a decent return given those financials?
I would think that the studio would be looking at Serenity and further spin offs as a steady banker return over a period of time.

Just my thoughts,and I'm sure others can better refine my figures, but I am very optimistic of a future with Firefly/Serenity.
The key was getting over that $30m gate receipt.



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Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:37 AM

SHINY


Quote:

Originally posted by tiredoldreaver:

1.So far, assuming the stated average cinema ticket price of $6, 5 million people have seen Serenity.



Well, that also assumes no repeat viewers, which we know isn't true...

---

Serenity is coming. 9/30/05.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:54 AM

TIREDOLDREAVER


True of course....We're all aware of everyone on this board and elsewhere making multiple visits to help the numbers. I'm sure that would dilute the effect, but (a) cinema sales aren't finished yet, and (b)repeat visitors might also be repeat purchasers which would help counter the effect. He says, looking at the 3 Firefly DVD sets in his DVD rack!
I guess it's near impossible to guess what percentage of the ticket sales were repeat visits......

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:58 AM

CUB


Some very enlightening info from the original poster.

I've no doubt whatsoever that whether or not this Firefly/Serenity franchise continues in one form or another will be a creative decision, not a financial one. In other words, I believe in the end it'll be Joss' decision.

---

"If wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak."

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 10:34 AM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by tiredoldreaver:
(b)repeat visitors might also be repeat purchasers which would help counter the effect.


That is definitely true in my case:
I've been to see 'Serenity' 6 or 7 times...(I'd have to count up my stubbs)
BUT I bought at least a dozen copies of the 'Firefly' DVDs to give to friends & family as gifts (Christmas, birthday, anniversay, baby shower...I was completely obnoxious about it)

I don't expect to buy fewer copies of the 'Serenity' DVD, for one thing they aren't likely to be $35 bucks a pop

Thank you for your encouraging words,
I've felt for some time that we might have to wait a couple of years, until Universal feels they made some profit, before the sequel get made,
But the fact is that we would have to wait that long anyway...
Joss is committed to Wonder Woman and Goners.

But we'll have comic books in the mean time, and we've been patient so far...:

Dec 2002 Firefly is canceled
Sept 2003 Univeral announces a movie will be made
Dec 2003 Firefly DVDs come out
Spring 2004 movie is cast & pre-production news comes out
Summer of 2004 movie is being filled & cast appears w/Joss at comic con
Jan 2005 first advanced screening
May- July additional advanced screenings
July 2005 comic book released

We haven't left or gotten bored


**********************************************
watch the R. Tam Session vids: http://www.hittarivertam.nu/
and buy the 'Serenity' comics published by Dark Horse!

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 10:57 AM

MIKELESQ


To me, the most encouraging factor is the sales of the Firefly DVDs since Serenity's release. It's still at #4 on Amazon. This is after the existing fandom has had 2 years to buy their copy. And it's not cheap ($30 online, as opposed to a $20-25 movie). It's outselling Batman and Lost.

The message seems clear: see the movie, and you want to see more.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 11:23 AM

SIGGGY


Tiredoldreaver,

That is a very well thought out and written thread, well done! I hope it is true!

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 11:46 AM

NERDLOVER


Quote:

Originally posted by mikelesq:
To me, the most encouraging factor is the sales of the Firefly DVDs since Serenity's release. It's still at #4 on Amazon. This is after the existing fandom has had 2 years to buy their copy. And it's not cheap ($30 online, as opposed to a $20-25 movie). It's outselling Batman and Lost.

The message seems clear: see the movie, and you want to see more.



Who gets the profits off the DVD's? Fox or Universal?

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 12:03 PM

EMBERS


Firefly DVDs profits to Fox
Serenity DVDs profits to Universal

**********************************************
watch the R. Tam Session vids: http://www.hittarivertam.nu/
and buy the 'Serenity' comics published by Dark Horse!

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 12:26 PM

STILLWATERS


Just off hand does anyone know how Netflix viewings get counted, do they just get lumped in with the video rentals?

Also saw the BDM again this Saturday a matinee showing but it must have had a couple of dozen people and they had moved it to a slightly larger theater than the week before. So we aren't through yet.



Shiny, lets be bad guys!! :)

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 1:54 PM

ARANEOLUS


Finally someone puts in to words what I have been thinking and feeling.
I think everyone has seen other films that did much worse financially and, in defiance of common sense, came back with sequels.
While I am a little worried, with the fore mention "repeat viewers"(I myself have seen it 3 times), I do feel that Serenity will do well in DVD sales.
Maybe do a repeat of what Borne Identity did so long ago. So so take at the box office, phenomenal sales on DVD.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 2:19 PM

LIVINGIMPAIRED


As encouraging as your theis may be, I'm smelling a lot of "if" coming off this post.

________________

http://www.greatestjournal.com/users/the_signal

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 2:52 PM

RIVER6213


Look at this this way. I've never heard of Firefly or Serenity two weeks ago, and so far I've seen the movie 5 times now (saw it today again) $7.00/showing, plus I purchased 40 tickets for my 40 friends...you do the math. I bought the book, $8.00, I bought the soundtrack. I plan to go see Serenity 2 more times, I plan to buy the DVD when it comes out, I already bought the Firefly the Complete Series DVD for myself and 7 other copies for some friends of mine, plus I've told everyone I know (or dont know) about Firefly and Serenity.

All of this activity adds up to a tidy sum for just one person actions (mine). Out of those 40 friends, more than half of them ran out to by the DVD tv series, and they are telling their friends etc.

In that two weeks I've downloaded and read everything available online concerning Firefly. I've joined up with every group there is on the internet, and I've started a letter writing campaign to Universal and FOX.

And all of this has occured in just two weeks since I saw Serenity. I suspect that there are several thousand "me's" out there who are doing just this sort of thing, so I suspect that things for Firefly and another movie might just actually happen...who knows?

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:09 PM

LIMINALOSITY


Quote:

Originally posted by tiredoldreaver:
He says, looking at the 3 Firefly DVD sets in his DVD rack!



Thanks for this crunchy analysis.
Given the responses I've been getting from friends I've taken to the movie who'd not much heard of the show, I think there will be a significantly larger fanbase than before the release of Serenity. Of the friends I've shared the show with over the past 2 years, many of them are as enthusiastic as I, and they've been busy dropping FF shaped pebbles into their own ponds. It helps to own multiple sets, doesn't it? I'm never leery of lending it, 'cuz even if I never get it back, I still have one at home.

Everything's shiny cap'n, not to fret.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:12 PM

FOLLOWMAL



I am the same.... before I saw an episode of Firefly on SciFi, I didn't know a thing about it...loved it immediately, how could I not?! Then I googled it and lo and behold a whole world opened up to me. Discovered this wonderful place. I've been to the movie numerous times, with lots of folks accompanying me and I've bought 2 DVD sets of the show and I'm buying more. Bought the book, bought the movie visual companion, am going to buy the Serenity DVD (many times over, gifts and to share). I'll be going back to the movie, with folks again this week. I've told everyone in my family about it, got my Mom watching it for goodness sake! Bought her the DVD set of Firefly! I attach stuff about Firefly/Serenity to all my emails.... I could go on and on to illustrate my new love for this. I've never done this before... never been obsessed with a show.

What I'm saying, is that I think it's the same for almost everyone who comes in contact with it, they FALL IN LOVE WITH IT!

I think this will grow and grow and I think we will get more.....


FollowMal

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:18 PM

NERDLOVER


I just wanted to add, thank you for an optimistic message. I know a lot of us have been in despair and ready to give up on the idea of continuation, further fueled by negative commentary. However, it's important to be positive no matter what the outcome--good thoughts have a better chance at breeding good news!

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:21 PM

FOLLOWMAL



You are helping us have hope, tiredoldreaver..

Thanks!


FollowMal

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:32 PM

EBANZAI


Quote:

Originally posted by tiredoldreaver:
First time on the board, but have been following with obsessive interest the movie returns.



Some additional facts and figures to hone your thinking:

Marketing costs are not factored into production budget. Serenity's US marketing budget was rumored to be around $10mil.

Studio box office take should be approx 50% barring unusual contract terms.

DVD profits are approx 67% of studio's DVD revenues (your $12-$15 per DVD figure is a good guess for revenues). 1/3 of the revenue gets eaten up by manufacturing, marketing, and distribution costs.

TV syndication is very lucrative at 90% profit.

Home video rentals is a potentially huge revenue stream. Insanely popular rentals can hit $60mil in rentals (studios get perhaps 40-50% of that). Modest rental revenue would be $5mil.

More info on my thread here:
http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=14021

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 4:11 PM

KHAMELEON


Just a side note Firefly DVD set is #1 seller at www.chapters.ca (Canadian Amazon for you non-canadians) I ordered a set last week from there and they were sold out. Its beating out batman and starwars 3.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 5:11 PM

VANCOUVER


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
Look at this this way. I've never heard of Firefly or Serenity two weeks ago, and so far I've seen the movie 5 times now (saw it today again) $7.00/showing, plus I purchased 40 tickets for my 40 friends...you do the math. I bought the book, $8.00, I bought the soundtrack. I plan to go see Serenity 2 more times, I plan to buy the DVD when it comes out, I already bought the Firefly the Complete Series DVD for myself and 7 other copies for some friends of mine, plus I've told everyone I know (or dont know) about Firefly and Serenity.

All of this activity adds up to a tidy sum for just one person actions (mine). Out of those 40 friends, more than half of them ran out to by the DVD tv series, and they are telling their friends etc.

In that two weeks I've downloaded and read everything available online concerning Firefly. I've joined up with every group there is on the internet, and I've started a letter writing campaign to Universal and FOX.

And all of this has occured in just two weeks since I saw Serenity. I suspect that there are several thousand "me's" out there who are doing just this sort of thing, so I suspect that things for Firefly and another movie might just actually happen...who knows?



I can add to that. Besides that I've seen the movie three times (with four other people in tow) and bought two copies of Firefly since the movie was released, I just spent the WHOLE DAY watching the Firefly DVD set (mine) with my sister and her friend. Until yesterday, the friend had never laid eyes on Firefly, and she hasn't yet gone to Serenity--because why would she, knowing almost nothing about it? (I dragged my sister, first weekend). But here she is, having watched the pilot and gotten so hooked that she literally sat in front of the TV today from 9 in the morning until 6 at night, without moving, eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom. My sister loves it just as much. There you have two future Serenity DVD sales (plus any they give as gifts) that have nothing to do with old Browncoaters, or repeat sales, or whatever. The number of converts, in both directions--from the DVD, which has been revived during the movie's run, to the movie, and vice versa--is immense, and there is no way that longtime fans can account for more than a fraction of the current Firefly sales, so the series has clearly expanded its fan base exponentially. (I think we ought to be rooting for a return of the TV show more than the movie, but that's just my preference.) When I went to pick up a copy of Firefly to send to some friends, the guy at the store opened the Holds drawer and every single DVD in there was Firefly. It was pretty funny.

We will get our sequel, if that's the desire, and we almost certainly could get our TV show back, if we directed focused effort in that direction (Universal DOES own the Sci-Fi channel). Joss's desires have already been clearly and repeatedly expressed: he wants to do this more than anything else, and he probably wants it more than any one of us does. That's not the issue, and never has been.

When the thing is real, it doesn't need artificial respiration. This thing is still living on its own, and I really believe it will continue to.

Vancouver

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 5:43 PM

SIMYLEE


Very well put. Here's my thoughts about sequels.

We have Cruel Intentions, didn't do too bad from what I can remember in theatres, and wasn't too bad a movie. Then! There's an unecessary prequel/sequel thing, which is pretty much the same premise of the first movie and THEN! That one there spawns another sequel. If that series can spawn 2 sequels, who's to say we can't have more Serenity?

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:15 PM

MARLOW


I have one word Leprechaun.

It was a godawful film that made less than 9 million in theaters. It gets a sequel the very next year, it makes less than 3 million. No less than 4 addition sequels have been made to date.

Need I say more?

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:17 PM

GOSHDARNSTUD


Don't forget they kept making Highlander stuff. Did ANY of the movies turn a profit(yeah I'm sure I could look it up, but I'm lazy)

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:24 PM

SIMYLEE


SEE!!! ALL of these movies spawned more offspring, I think if the fan base pushes enough and has enough backing from us, (like pitching our money in to help even) We could possibly make this work.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:31 PM

TUDYKRAWKS


Quote:

Originally posted by marlow:
I have one word Leprechaun.

It was a godawful film that made less than 9 million in theaters. It gets a sequel the very next year, it makes less than 3 million. No less than 4 addition sequels have been made to date.

Need I say more?



u have to remember 1 thing though.... how much did those crappy movies cost to make? it's all about the ratio of cost:profit. don't think that i disagreew/you b'c i don't it's just something that i noticed.

"mine is an evil laugh"

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 7:28 PM

SADLITTLEKING


I think the original poster has a point. As long as Serenity has a chance at making at least a small profit, there's hope that Universal will greenlight a sequel. Even if it gets a smaller budget.

Hey, it can't be worse than Doom, another Universal film. That movie cost $60 million to make and only brought in $15 million the first weekend. Ouch.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 7:28 PM

STAKETHELURK


Quote:

u have to remember 1 thing though.... how much did those crappy movies cost to make? it's all about the ratio of cost:profit. don't think that i disagreew/you b'c i don't it's just something that i noticed.
Yeah, that's always the problem. I've seen "Leprechaun" mentioned before, so I looked it up. The flick only had a budget of $900,000! No wonder they made a sequel. Don't know about the franchise beyond that.

Still, it would make sense for Universal to continue it, especially if our BDM does well on DVD (keep spreading the word, folks). I remain optimistic.

But, on the downside, it would've made sense for FOX to actually support the series they were pouring millions of dollars into.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 8:34 PM

HJERMSTED


Never fear!

Serenity was not a "bomb". It had great reviews and has very nearly earned back its budget when one counts all of the worldwide markets.

More than likely, three years will pass anyway between now and a Serenity sequel of any kind. In that timeframe:

* Joss writes and directs his first summer blockbuster, Wonder Woman (Joss' profile goes up)

* Joss writes and directs the horror film Goners for Universal (horror genre cheap to produce and very popular... Joss' profile goes up further)

* The Firefly dvd set and the Serenity dvd will have plenty of time to find brand new fans. 500,000 sets sold now... why not 750,000 to 1 million by the time Goners wraps and Joss is free again?

* It's even likely that during the next three years one of the nine Serenity cast members will become a household name (in film or on TV) giving a potential Serenity sequel some star appeal.

So don't fret, Browncoats!
There are many possibilities.

mattro

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:27 PM

JIDIOT


It is just going to take time for people to get to know Serenity/Firefly.

I've been pushing the movie on another bulletin board I belong to. A fellow BB member just told me she took her her teenage daughter to see Serenity. The Mum likes "good" movies and wouldn't even go to see LOTR or Star Wars. However she wanted to "bond" with her daughter after a fight about school last week, so offered to take her to the movie. Daughter didn't want to go and see it, as she had never heard of it (and didn't trust her Mum's tastes). However the daughter loved it and the Mum thought it was OK (but preferred Pride and Prejudice).

I have suggested that the Firefly DVD might be a suitable Christmas present for the family...

Hopefully now the daughter will spread the word to her friends.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:30 PM

MARLOW


i agree with you about the first leprechaun's budget but what about the second. I'm pretty sure it had a budget of over 900,000, plus that film had a strong advertising push. It made only 2million and some change, and STILL got 4 more sequels.

Not to mention the fact that those films sucked and was pretty much hated by everyone but a extremely small group of gore fans.

Unlike Leprechaun Serenity is one of the best reviewed films of year, and is loved by 90% of the people who saw it. (Not just hardcore Browncoats)


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Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:51 PM

EVILBOB


G'day all - a bit of international response - i hadn't heard of Firefly till about a week after Serenity came out in Australia - My mate by chance saw the DVD for Firefly, had heard it was good, bought it. He's seen the movie four times - i've seen it twice (all i can afford). I tried to get the box set on DVD - i live in Melbourne, a city of 3 and a half million - and they are all sold out. Just can't get 'em. This show is awesome, and touches a chord with many. Hoping they do another Season!

Boo!

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 10:08 PM

VIOLETRIX


I'm new to Firefly. I watched about 5 episodes 3 days before Serenity came out and I instantly converted. Never before have I seen such an amazing, intelligent show. Obviously, I went out and bought the dvd set, which seemed as natural to me as breathing. Watched the movie a second time. Am going again this week. I've converted my sister, who is a self-proclaimed scifi hater.
Anyway, I'm glad the movie is doing well. In reality, ( and I have no head for business, so bear with me ), isn't it really the profits the studio cares about and not whether there are repeat viewers? Or is that something that will reflect on the Serenity dvd sales? I've actually been checking the box office stats too, and usually I could care less. Firefly just gets under your skin, and you're hooked.
I'll keep trying, keep sending everyone I know to the film. I really admire those who have stuck with it. I'm glad you're all out there.


time for some thrilling heroics

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Monday, October 24, 2005 3:22 AM

TRAKEN


Quote:

Originally posted by mikelesq:
To me, the most encouraging factor is the sales of the Firefly DVDs since Serenity's release. It's still at #4 on Amazon. This is after the existing fandom has had 2 years to buy their copy. And it's not cheap ($30 online, as opposed to a $20-25 movie). It's outselling Batman and Lost.

The message seems clear: see the movie, and you want to see more.



That's true, ive been watching firefly on scifi past few weeks, oct 21 i saw the movie, and yesterday ordered the season 1 dvds. I guess I am no the only new fan around.

I would like to see a video game out of this, I remember a few games called Hardnova, privater, freelancer, which were all great and are based on a similar kind of principle to firefly.

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Monday, October 24, 2005 4:16 AM

STILLWATERS


I'm optimistic that we've shown Universal that there is at least the seeds of a franchise here. So where do we go from here Sequel, New series. If past history is any guide then the answer is both. When they brought Star Trek back the original cast did the movies and a new cast came in for TNG. So I think the most likely scenario is that we'll see at least one more Serenity movie with the original cast and that possibly a Firefly spin-off on the SciFi channel.
Remember Firefly is a classification of ship, Serenity is the name of our most loved ship. There could be lots of old Firefly class transports sitting out there. So you could easily have another group of ex-brown coats flush from a recent extra-legal activity looking for something to do with their money. Maybe their last job almost went south on them because they had to depend on someone else for the getaway. Something reliable, but not flashing.
Maybe I'm just in denial. What do you think?

Shiny, Let's be bad guys :)

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Monday, October 24, 2005 4:39 AM

RENNA


Quote:

Originally posted by Stillwaters:
I think the most likely scenario is that we'll see at least one more Serenity movie with the original cast and that possibly a Firefly spin-off on the SciFi channel.



Brilliant! I really enjoy this idea. I'm sorry, gang, but anyone who was a Buffy Fan knew that somewhere along the line, they ran out of story ideas. I love our existing cast with an unhealthy passion, and I'd love to see another movie with them.

But, it'd be awesome to have another season of the series with new cast members. It wouldn't taint the memory of our fallen crew by replacing them, and it wouldn't screw up the group dynamics. Instead, we'd meet a whole new group. With Joss's witty writing and his talent for picking the perfect cast, we're sure to get something shiny.

"You can't take the sky from me"

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Monday, October 24, 2005 4:50 AM

FLYINGTAMS


Quote:

Originally posted by FollowMal:

I've never done this before... never been obsessed with a show.

What I'm saying, is that I think it's the same for almost everyone who comes in contact with it, they FALL IN LOVE WITH IT!




yeah, me too. I've just been here for so long that I'm a bit burned out. But then you new lot comes in all full of energy and jazz everything up again :)

We may yet prevail.


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Monday, October 24, 2005 5:00 AM

BALLAD


Quote:

Originally posted by Cub:
Some very enlightening info from the original poster.

I've no doubt whatsoever that whether or not this Firefly/Serenity franchise continues in one form or another will be a creative decision, not a financial one. In other words, I believe in the end it'll be Joss' decision.

---

"If wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak."



Good point, Cub, if Joss doesn't want to continue the 'verse, then any sequel would suck and we would hate it. But you have to remember that if Joss, the cast, and the people involved DO want to continue working in this 'verse that we love...they can't do so on the strength of love alone. Without the financial, the creative is left dead in the water, and without the creative, the financial side of things might turn a profit, but it would destroy that bankable fan base tiredoldreaver was talking about. Which, I think is a good point. Don't tell me that the Browncoats wouldn't run out to see Serenity 2, no matter what the critics said, right? That's a nearly-garaunteed profit for Universal. I really think there's a good shot for Serenity2 (although I think it should be called something else...) since Universal has seen that we will turn out in force for this franchise. We ARE Trekkies...but smaller. ;) I mean, come on. Nemesis sucked. It made $67,312,826 worldwide. Browncoats may be a smaller group...but not for long.

--Ballad

They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see the sky, and they remember what they are.

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Monday, October 24, 2005 5:04 AM

TRAKEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Renna:
Quote:

Originally posted by Stillwaters:
I think the most likely scenario is that we'll see at least one more Serenity movie with the original cast and that possibly a Firefly spin-off on the SciFi channel.



Brilliant! I really enjoy this idea. I'm sorry, gang, but anyone who was a Buffy Fan knew that somewhere along the line, they ran out of story ideas. I love our existing cast with an unhealthy passion, and I'd love to see another movie with them.

But, it'd be awesome to have another season of the series with new cast members. It wouldn't taint the memory of our fallen crew by replacing them, and it wouldn't screw up the group dynamics. Instead, we'd meet a whole new group. With Joss's witty writing and his talent for picking the perfect cast, we're sure to get something shiny.

"You can't take the sky from me"



I dunno the universe is not what drew me into the show but more the cast.
I would want any new cast to have a different ship/purpose/story, otherwise I say use the current cast.

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Monday, October 24, 2005 7:10 AM

SEP7IMUS


If there were a spinoff (in any media), it would have to involve Joss, right? I mean, even if he had moved on from the show, I'm pretty confident that he loves it enough not to just sell the creative rights. So, we're talking about another Joss-creation, right?

IF that's the case, then the quesiton is whether he should go for a new cast (i.e. a spinoff about another ship, or colony, or whatever) or whether he should (can?) bring back the old story and just continue it. I think we would all agree that we want more of the BDHs. I'm pretty sure that Joss does, too. So, the quesiton is whether he CAN continue their story. The obvious hurdle will be getting them all back (although I understand that theyr'e all quite committed to the show). (Other hurdles migth include meddling execs, and the ever-present financial question).

So, my conclusion is that a spinoff, however fun it might be, isn't likely to happen unless it is the ONLY way that Joss can revisit this universe (and, frankly, I think he's probably more committed to the characters than the universe, so he's not likely to do that, either.)

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Monday, October 24, 2005 7:59 AM

JBJ



Great to see some educated optimism on the possibility of more Serenity! Another minor factor -in our favor- that many are forgetting is the money this franchisce makes from merchandise. To my knowledge there are comics,action figures, trading cards, roleplaying game, books, and numerous misc. items. When you consider that most movies take in zilch on merchandise, this little film stands out. Would a guesstimate of 2-5 million be overly optimistic?


jbj

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Monday, October 24, 2005 9:18 AM

BARD


Very encouraging! Nice to get solid grist for the optimsism mill . . .

I have to reiterate my heartfelt belief that Firefly has to return in TV mode, in hour-long episodic drama, for Firefly to *truly* return. The pacing of the TV show allowed the slow spaces, the meditative pauses, the gradual character development, more room for humor, etc.

Re. films - if you build it, I will come.

But the TV show is the way to go . . .

____


You can't take the sky from me (I hope, I pray).

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Monday, October 24, 2005 10:11 AM

FOLLOWMAL




Sorry... can't get onboard with the "spin-off, with new cast" thing.

To me, Serenity/Firefly is our Capt. and our crew.
I think it's about THESE people, not just some other folks in the 'verse.

I want films and a tv show, I want it ALL!



FollowMal, and only Mal.

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Monday, October 24, 2005 11:55 AM

DERANGEDMILK


I'm right there with you FOLLOWMAL, I read the whole new crew/new ship post and said "Thats down right unsettlin."
I also am a bit greedy, I want two or three more movies and them to go back and finish up the first season.
I've heard the reruns are doing really well on SciFi so I'm sure new episodes would get FANtastic ratings!
-e

"Storms getting worse."
"We'll pass through it soon enough."

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Monday, October 24, 2005 12:16 PM

TIREDOLDREAVER


Thanks for all the comments on my original post...Actually,I thought my post may just disappear! And some very interesting views.Thanks for the views on studio and dvd margins. I would love if I could,to see the Profit and Loss statement on the Production and Marketing costs. It would, I'm sure, make interesting and productive reading, but the basic financial tenets remain, and I see we're at $30.5m with quite a lot of International to add in, plus revenue still coming in off domestic US.We're still flying, I believe the expression is.
There are however some factors additionally raised which I hadn't considered:
1.Merchandising. I'm not sure who owns the merchandising rights to Serenity. In my business, the merchandising rights are BIG numbers, and I'd completely ignored them in my previous post. I'm not sure if it works the same, but in my world, merchandising companies buy the rights to a particular licensed product, together with a fixed percentage (usually 15-20%) of the retail price.Hard to put a figure on it, but it could be significant.
2.TV rights. I don't know this market well enough, but I suspect from others comments that I may have underestimated the potential TV returns.
There is a more fundamental business point, which I believe is the core of the potential success of Serenity + sequels. Forgive me if I bore everybody to death,(I am a TiredOldReaver after all) but in this whole business sphere, there are two types of business concerning us, namely (i) a Capital Expenditure based business which the studio is, ie stump up a big pile of cash in one go,and try to get a much bigger pile of cash back straightaway, or (ii) a Revenue based business, like mine, ie take 2% of something every month for ever (hopefully!).
There are attractions to both,and risks with both, but a big balanced company would try to do both.Hence, something that is repeatable and brings in steady revenue over a long period of time, yet remains a core part of the business, is very attractive indeed.It helps cash flow and doesn't have to be that profitable as long as it's steady. If I had to guess, excepting the creative process of Joss, the studio's original big attraction would be (a) lots and lots of ongoing dvd sales, and (b) Joss' proven ability to franchise an idea and provide endless successions/spin offs.
It's all about the studio building a solid revenue stream from as many long lived projects as it can.
The more I see and read, the more optimistic I become.I really believe this is the start of something very good.(Notwithstanding the fab Jayne comment about smelling a lot of "if" coming off this post!!)

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Monday, October 24, 2005 12:37 PM

R1Z


Quote:

I've no doubt whatsoever that whether or not this Firefly/Serenity franchise continues in one form or another will be a creative decision, not a financial one. In other words, I believe in the end it'll be Joss' decision.



I wish it were so, but we're talking about show BUSINESS. If the decisions were Joss's, the tv show would still be running and sequel #1 would be in editing right now. Sadly, Joss does not seem to have a spare $50M in his piggy bank right now, (nor do I, or he could have it), so it's gonna take backing from the suits.

YOu are right to the extent that this franchise cannot continue without Joss's okey-dokey. To that extent, he has veto power, but that's about it.

From Joss's post on the 'versal board:
Quote:

And what about Da Fyoocha? (And why did I need Arnold to say that?) I have no idea. It could be that this tale is told. Or it could be that down the line, dollars accumulate and some exec says, "let's spin that wheel again." Or who knows. I'm not resting my hopes on it, but it's not a concept I'll ever close the book on. In case the 30,000 reporters I told didn't get this message out, I love this crew like Nick loves Nora, like Hellboy loves Pancakes, like Bridgitte loves Bernie
Clearly, if all Joss had to do was wave his wand (or keyboard, maybe) we'd already be on the way.

To veer to another point:

I am heartened most of all by the fact that Firefly DVD sales are actually holding/rising. This means people who were dragged kicking and screaming to Serenity like our little 'verse, and plan to stay. This bodes very well for Serenity DVD sales. Doin' some math--Firefly DVD sales got Serenity financed. Serenity sales should be more than the Firefly sales, since everyone who bought Firefly will buy Serenity, plus sales to rental organizations and people who saw the film "cold", based on the poster, or tv ads or whatever. The higher Serenity DVD sales should be enough to get us a sequel. Thus are franchises born.

Parting thought: Christmas is coming, and my life will be simplified if I can just buy 38 copies of Serenity and give them to everyone on my list. No trips to the mall, no circling for a parking space at $3.00/gallon. Hee Hee.

To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks. --Robt. Heinlein

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Monday, October 24, 2005 5:42 PM

ABILITY6


I agree, same cast, same show, bigger and better with a BDM thrown in every few years for grins...is THAT too much to ask?

"Yolanda?"

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Monday, October 24, 2005 7:53 PM

STAKETHELURK


Quote:

Originally posted by TiredOldReaver:
I see we're at $30.5m with quite a lot of International to add in, plus revenue still coming in off domestic US.

Um, okay, now I’m confused. When you first mentioned the $30.5 million figure, I assumed you were discussing the combined US and international box offices to date, but now it sounds like you’re not counting the international...?

I’d like to know how you’re getting the $30.5 million figure, because the latest data shows the US total take thus far at $24 million with an estimated final US take of $26 million. So, are you actually including total world gross in that figure, or just US gross? Or am I totally misunderstanding what you said?

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Monday, October 24, 2005 8:09 PM

TALLAUSSIEBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Hey, it can't be worse than Doom, another Universal film. That movie cost $60 million to make and only brought in $15 million the first weekend. Ouch.


It was DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMEEEDD!

G.I.R: "Doom, doom, doom, DOOM, doom, DOOm, DOOm..."

--------------------------------------------------

[On sharing Firefly Browncoats' love with relatives, friends and anyone that's remotely curious:]

"It's very Jehovah's Witness, I'm not sure if anyone's actually going door to door, but it's not far off."

- Nathan Fillion

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Monday, October 24, 2005 9:52 PM

TIREDOLDREAVER


Hi StakeTheLurk....Figures I'm using are as below:

US domestic to 23rd October $24.17million
UK domestic to 17th October $ 3.41million
Australia to 17th October $ 2.00million
Russia to 16th October $ 0.71mill
Portugal to 17th October $ 0.16mill

The last week's UK figures should be out some time today, and I've read that France has launched, and there are others to follow. The international figures seem to appear weekly in arrears,hence my saying effectively that there's upside in the above figures, but this is where I'd look for some longevity once the US domestic tapers off. Actually, I'd based my figures on a top of $25million US domestic so if you're right at $26mill it will be a real bonus.As I said originally, it's down to squeezing out the returns now!Every extra dollar/pound/euro/etc makes a real difference at this stage.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005 4:46 AM

MINEISANEVILLAUGH


I've been reading up on what box office means to studios. Turns out even blockbusters rarely make good profit in the theater. For example, studio spends $100m making and $50m marketing (typical marketing number, not the crappy $10 Serenity got). Then, movie grosses $250m in the theaters - sounds great. but the studio only gets back $125m - 25m less than they spent. As it happens most studios only make about 20% of their profits off theater box office. 80% is made in merchandising - that means DVD sales, movie soundtrack CD, promotional items, novelizations, rentals, sales to TV, pay-per-view.

Additionally, movies showing in little over 2,000 theaters in the widest distribution do not become box office blockbusters. While it would have been nice to blow that expectation out of the water - we continue to make $$ in the US and are doing very well abroad. We should keep it up - but in long the run it will be the post-theater $$ that will determine the eventual fate of this potential franchise. That means - the Serenity DVD is a fine gift for all holidays and special events (and, note, Universal does not get one dime from Firefly). So, while I would not discourage anyone from buying this very fine series - if you are trying to support this rebirth by purchasing for friends or others - you would want to use your $$ for the movie DVD or for any other Serenity related merchanise that catches your eye.

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