Big Comedy Goes Indie

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Every summer there are films with giant explosions, robots, cowboys, aliens, monsters, monsters vs. aliens, cowboys vs. aliens, and little independent film gems with big name comedy stars. While you generally know what to expect with anything directed by Michael Bay (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”) or produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (“Pirates of the Caribbean 4”), it’s the little indie films with big names that can either bomb or become huge commercial/critical successes (think: Steve Carrell in “Little Miss Sunshine” and Jim Carrey in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” as successes)

If marketing companies get it right, they get young men, ages 18 to 34 to say “WHOA! THERE’S A NEW WILL FERRELL MOVIE! IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME!!!!!” and indie movie fans and older people to say “Will Ferrell is playing an alcoholic dealing with the disintegration of his life and relationships … sounds like a potential Oscar nomination!” while neither comes close to think what the other is thinking.

The result: “Everything Must Go” starring Will Ferrell.

How did it do? Not well, my friends … not well. It came out in June 2011, expanded beyond New York and L.A. to cities such as Omaha and then left within two weeks. After five weeks, it has made $2.5 million on a very low for Will Ferrell $5 million budget.

But, it’s the summer and the studio execs call this “counterprogramming” so let’s try again:

How will “Our Idiot Brother” (starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Zooey Deschanel) do? Well, what do you think? Hilarious comedy? (Ehh…) Heartwarming family drama? (Ehh …) We shall see.

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