Cinepile: Super Troopers 2 Needs You!
...and the weird world of crowdfunding movies backed by major studios.
The first Super Troopers is a bonafide classic and fuck you if you don't like it.
Jokes, you don't have to like it but there's a lot of people that love it - myself included. It didn't slay the box office back when it was released in 2002, but that set it up to become a cult classic for the Broken Lizard team (comedy actors Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske) - something they unfortunately haven't really been able to replicate since with films like Club Dread and Beerfest. So what do you do when the follow-ups to your biggest hit never quite hit the mark? Go back to the well. And after years of speculation, fan demand and false starts, Super Troopers 2 is now a thing. And I'm totally down for it. And looks like I'm not alone.
You see, the second film was announced with something of a catch - to make the film they need to raise $2million to get it off the ground, something explained in this pretty funny video posted to Facebook last night:
That was about eight hours ago, and even though the Indiegogo campaign has a month to run, they've already sky-rocketed past the halfway mark and it's basically a lock. Rewards for people who help out start from as little as getting some free tickets to the movie and a shout-out via Twitter, all the way up to having the Broken Lizard guys best man your wedding ($25,000), or scoring an actual patrol car from the film ($35,000). Which is all well and good, but as Pages Digital points out, the Broken Lizard team has a major film studio attached in 20th Century Fox, who are handling distribution (in the US/Canada anyway), and 20th Century Fox aren't exactly light on funds, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
When it comes to investing - in anything - you put something in to hopefully get more back out. Movies like Super Troopers 2 do not cost a whole lot to make. As a reference the first film only cost just over a million dollars to produce, and as mentioned above it didn't set the world on fire but still made over $23million in the box office. Taking a wild stab, with inflation and the law of sequels always costing more than originals, number two will likely get up to around the $15-$20million mark to produce. So as long as it makes roughly the same as the original (highly likely given the fanbase has expanded massively over the past decade and just fan demand in general), you can pretty much guarantee it'll get somewhere around breaking even. Everything else from there on is gravy - for the Broken Lizard dudes and 20th Century Fox. And it'll be thanks to you, the guy who threw in $55 for a couple of free tickets, a fake stache and a t-shirt.
To be honest, it's just fun to ruminate on these things, I'm fucking stoked they're making a Super Troopers 2, and if it takes a few even more eager people to throw some coins into the ring to make it happen, then so be it. It just makes for an interesting topic of discussion around crowdfunding projects and who should actually be using them. On one hand 20th Century Fox could easily have fronted the $2million the Broken Lizard guys "desperately needed" to get Super Troopers 2 off the ground, while on the other this method makes thousands of fans from around the world part of the process, and they can feel even more attached to a project that they've been crying out for for over 10 years.