So I'm looking over the upcoming movie releases. Summer Movie Season '10 is looking to be a real snoozer. And I keep going to check out what might be coming after. November sees the release of a new Disney movie with merchandise out the waz. It was originally called Rapunzel. Yes, that Rapunzel. Well, sort of. This is Disney, which frequently makes major changes to the source material (Hercules, The Little Mermaid, but ESPECIALLY Snow White. I sort of understand, that shit would scar kids for life, but is all of it necessary?). Among the changes made is the title. Rapunzel has been renamed Tangled. The ad campaign has started, and it's also giving emphasis to the male lead in the movie.
This struck me as odd. I mean, so I'm not overly impressed with princess stories. That doesn't mean everyone has to do without them (I would like to point out that one of my favorite movies of all time is The Princess Bride, so it's not like I automatically reject anything fairy tale based). There is a definite audience, and Rapunzel seems like the kind of old school fairy tale that Disney does well. Why the switch? Why are they trying to hide that it is ostensibly a princess movie?
Here's the answer. The Princess And The Frog, Disney's last princess flick, made $270 mil at the box office. Disney feels it didn't do well enough, it should have made more money. They think the whole princess angle chased away the boys (if I may interject a thought of my own here -- DUH!). So they are changing the focus to help expand the audience.
It's not going to work. Word of mouth will see to that. This is what happens when you make art based on a demographic instead of trying to make something good. You have a built in audience, and it's not going to fluctuate. They will not see the numbers for Tangled be double what they would be otherwise. If they really want to expand the audience, they should focus on making the princess characters and the princess movies more fun. Something like this....
...now that's a bunch of princesses I wouldn't mind spending an hour and a half with!