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Congratulations? Over 90,000 People Gift $5.7 Million To Warner Bros. For The 'Veronica Mars' Movie

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by Kevin Jagernauth
April 15, 2013 10:41 AM
10 Comments
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Okay, the headline isn't quite accurate -- it's actually the show's creator Rob Thomas who is getting the $5.7 million from the highly publicized and grounding breaking Kickstarter campaign for the "Veronica Mars" movie, nearly three times the $2 million he was initially seeking. But perhaps more importantly, with the campaign over and having been wildly, hugely successful, the question now becomes: Did Warner Bros. just get away with having customers pay for their movie?

First, a few facts: EW reveals that most people gave somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 and that 91, 535 people opened their piggy bank to give some money to the project. Clearly there was a lot of passion for this, and certainly, Warner Bros. had made it clear in the past that even DVD sales of "Veronica Mars" didn't make a compelling argument that there was any value in making a movie (though we can only imagine that between now and the movie next year, those DVD figures will certainly rise as interest spurs around this unique campaign).

The flipside to this, of course, is that $5.7 million is a drop in the bucket budget-wise for a studio like Warner Bros. (and remember, Thomas only wanted $2 million to start). What has happened, essentially, is that general public has just funded a movie that WB will be printing money from forever, having to do little more than market and distribute it. While we wouldn't go so far as to say it's problematic, it does fundamentally change the way consumers and a major studio operate in a pretty profound way.

And one also has to ponder what this means for Kickstarter in general. A platform intended for truly independent projects, those in real need of financing and the power of social media to help get them made and promoted, how does the game change when Hollywood stars and major properties invade on that turf? And should something like "Veronica Mars" even be playing on that field?

We've discussed these issues in depth recently, but with the Kickstarter campaign now closed and everything movie forward in a very real way, it's worth considering once again. But undoubtedly, the fans are happy and they're getting what they've long wished for, so perhaps that's all that matters. Tell us your thoughts below. 

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10 Comments

  • Ariel | April 18, 2013 10:10 PMReply

    I'm not sure I agree with Warner Bros. making a lot of money off this money, but I am excited that there's going to be a movie. I work at DISH with a few people who feel the same way, we're even planning to re-watch the TV show. It's available for rent from Blockbuster @Home through DISH, which has over 100,000 titles to choose from, so we can always find what we're looking for, and it will be easy for us to re-watch Veronica Mars.

  • RD | April 15, 2013 5:41 PMReply

    It's important to remember that every single one of the 90k "investors" are getting not only the film orf their dreams made (against the studios previous recommendation) but also rewards, like signed posters, t-shirts, premiere tickets and all that (depending on how much you pledged). Not that they wouldn't finance it even if there were no rewards, but it's important to remember that there was so and fans are getting their souveniers along with the final chapter (?) of the VMars saga :) Well done! I hope Chris Carter can convince Fox's executive to finance a third X_Files film, otherwise I'd gladly pay for it through Kickstarter (or wtv). That second film was just terrible and we - the fans - deserve a better ending to an amazing tv show.

  • Julius | April 15, 2013 2:43 PMReply

    This is freedom of choice in action, the fans want VM so they get it. If WB benefits then so be it. The fans overrode a handful of development execs sitting in offices in Burbank, that's good thing!

  • cirkusfolk | April 15, 2013 1:41 PMReply

    Bands have been doing this for awhile. They get their fans to give them money to produce their next record, then said fans get a copy when they are done while the band goes on to sell more and make money for themselves. Win win.

  • Rob | April 15, 2013 12:51 PMReply

    The "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter Campaign is proactive as far as I am concerned, especially when the majority of people feel art isn't worth paying for, and stealing it is just as good. At least the artists will be paid and they owe it to the fans to make a good movie, not the studio.

  • Fred | April 15, 2013 12:22 PMReply

    There's 90,000 suckers born every minute.

  • M. | April 15, 2013 11:16 AMReply

    The Veronica Mars series ended with a cliffhanger for the fans and finally we get resolution. The fans are getting their rewards and the movie. Who knows if the stars align and the movie has wide range appeal maybe a sequel, but for now we get our conclusion!

  • Ryan Sartor | April 15, 2013 10:51 AMReply

    So many movies that fans want to get made simply don't get made. A studio will always make a movie if they think they can make money, and rarely ever if they think they won't.

    It is a sort of pandora's box, but arguments against the 'Veronica Mars' kickstarter campaign feel like arguments that happened in 1994 against the Internet in general.

  • James | April 15, 2013 1:00 PM

    Agreed. I could make moral arguments all day, but if there were a Kickstarter fund for a final Aaron Sorkin movie of The West Wing to wrap up everything after the season 4 finale cliffhanger, I'd pay my $50. (I consider everything that aired after that date to be just West Wing fan fiction, as Sorkin has specifically said they didn't go in the direction with the show he intended to and they didn't resolve the kidnapping plot the way he was laying the groundwork for.) We all care about at least one show this much, which is what means this is probably going to happen again.

  • BEF | April 15, 2013 11:45 AM

    I can't get holier than thou, because, if there's a "Frank or Francis" Kickstarter campaign, I'll chip in to Charlie Kaufman.

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