Collateral II: Airport Shuttle Bus. School of Rock 2: PhD in Shredding. Returning to America. Deeper Impact. Ghost 2: Ditto. Stalag 18. Fourth Day of the Condor. Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby.
Oh wait, that last one happened.
Anyway, all of the titles above are ones you may end up seeing on the shelves of your local DVD retailer, as Paramount Pictures has decided to join the booming world of direct to video (DTV) sequels that has been so good to Universal and Disney, and which Warner Bros is also entering.
The new Paramount DTV branch, which will have access to all Paramount, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks, MTV Films and Nickelodeon titles, is being run by the guy who built the very successful DTV arm at Universal, Louis Feola. At Universal he managed to crank out no less than 429 sequels to The Land Before Time, taking the franchise all the way up to the Industrial Revolution (the main dinosaur characters appear in that era as coal and oil).
As always, I feel conflicted. On the one hand, I want DTV to blossom – I think it’s a great environment for niche films and can be used to rescue canceled TV shows. But none of the DTV titles that the studios have churned out (at least the ones INTENDED to be DTV) have all that much quality. And while I love that DTV offers new filmmakers a place to start out in much the same way that Roger Corman did in the 60s, I would rather they get their careers going on knock-offs of popular films and not just poorly financed sequels.