What’s with all the sequels to ’80s movies going directly to DVD?

Is Warner Brothers single-handedly trying to ruin my favorite ’80s movies with less than stellar sequels that go directly to DVD?

BeetlejuiceFirst, WB announced that it would do a direct-to-DVD sequel to the cult favorite The Lost BoysNow, apparently WB is planning a Beetlejuice 2, also directly to DVD.

You won’t get any argument from me that several of these movies do indeed deserve sequels.  In fact, I’d love to see a quality sequel to either of the above movies.  But if you are going to do a sequel, do it right.  Don’t ruin the franchise in the process.  We all know that direct-to-DVD means cheap with minimal effort.  Can anyone name one direct-to-DVD movie that is worthwhile?

But direct-to-DVD seems to be Warner Brothers’ new motto.  In fact, last summer, WB set up a new division, Warner Premiere, for exactly that purpose.

“Consumers today have more ways than ever to access content, which naturally increases the need for all forms of programming, especially in the DVD originals arena,” said Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.  “With Warner Premiere, we’re creating an additional stream of new, high-quality, ‘fan-ready’ DVDs that will be supported by top-notch marketing to help them standout in the increasingly crowded marketplace.”

In other words, WB has found another way to pull money out of the pockets of the same die hard fans that have kept these cult favorites alive and turned them into classics. 

WB is even planning sequels to movies that haven’t hit the theaters yet.  Already in the works is a sequel to the big screen version of the ’60s TV series Get Smart to be released just 10 days after the movie hits theaters next summer. 

The sequel will not be a traditional follow up to the main characters; instead it will focus on the secondary characters.  And according to the Wall Street Journal, more studios are trying to cut these package deals with actors and writers to include the theatrical release and the DVD sequel.

Warner Premiere’s goal is to release 15 of these DVD movies annually and they are promising quality. 

“While the films and shorts produced by Warner Premiere will be produced under a new business model, they will have no creative constraints on them and should not be thought of as low-budget or second-rate in any way,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures. 

But without the theatrical release, WB will never get the same stars to reprise their roles, let alone the directors.  Anyway you cut it, you end of with a second-rate product.

I know WB isn’t the only one doing it.  Disney has been making DVD sequels for years.  And even as a huge Disney fan, I haven’t found any of them interesting enough to watch, let alone buy.

My only hope is that no one will buy or watch these sequels and the studios will give up on these efforts.  And long live the originals!

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4 Responses to What’s with all the sequels to ’80s movies going directly to DVD?

  1. alexander says:

    I agree with you. But would u prefer no sequels at all? Really? If a direct-to-dvd sequel is the ONLY WAY we can have it, bring’em on. I know it’s sad… but true.

  2. […] I can’t recall ever being impressed by a direct-to video sequel and the thought of surfing vampires (I thought they couldn’t be in the sun) seemed absurd, I […]

  3. sara says:

    “Can anyone name one direct-to-DVD movie that is worthwhile?”

    – I’m sorry but I have to point out one of my favourite movies of all time : “Cool Runnings” which wasn’t released on the big screen! The movie is about the first jamaican bobsled team. The story is nice, the humour is priceless and you just can’t get enough of it!

  4. vacelts says:

    Sara,

    Actually Cool Runnings was released in theaters on Oct. 1, 1993. It grossed $68,856,263 at the box office.

    But it was a good movie.

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