A Veronica Mars Community
UPN (ended 2007)

... The crowd-funded Veronica Mars movie debuted this weekend in just 291 theaters, raking in $2 million in its opening days. That's not terrible, but also not great. And according to Buzzfeed, the movie would need to make about $12 million to make a profit, meaning Kickstarter-funded movie projects probably won't become the next big thing anytime soon. But even though the movie didn't go gangbusters at the box office, fans of the series (including our own Kaitlin Thomas, who reviewed the film right here) seemed pretty happy with the result. [Buzzfeed]


BUSINESS TIME

... Esquire Network has ordered 10 episodes of the reality series Lucky Bastards, a bro-fest that follows six rich and privileged dudes in New York City as they, I dunno, make real-estate deals and drink fancy cocktails and date trashy women, I guess. It's being described as a male version of the Real Housewives franchise, and the cast includes former Bachelor star Lorenzo Borghese. Congratulations to Esquire, for finding the most Esquirey show it could! [The Wrap]

... Super hilarious blue-collar and redneck comedian Bill Engvall will be the subject of his own reality series because this guy clearly sold his soul for fame. The project is only in development at the moment and hasn't yet been attached to a network, so let's all cross our fingers and pray it stays that way. (News flash: I do not care for Bill Engvall!) [THR]

... Nick at Nite has canceled its original series See Dad Run, which starred Scott Baio as an actor who becomes a stay-at-home dad while his actress wife tries to make it big. If you need help to get you through this troubling time, I recommend doing literally anything other than watching See Dad Run. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Glee star Chris Colfer will prove to fans that in addition to singing and acting he can also write, by penning an episode of the current season because creator Ryan Murphy said, "Yo Chris, wanna write an episode of Glee?" It shouldn't be too hard for the talented kid, he's already written an indie feature and is the author of a series of children's books. [TV Line]

... As if your childhood nostalgia hasn't already been destroyed by TV remakes, the HUB Network is launching a new series based on those lovable foldable robots The Transformers. The computer-animated series will take place years after the big Autobot and Decepticon battle in Transformers Prime and follow Bumblebee as he leads a new team of Autobots. [HUB Network via press release] 


CASTING NEWS

... Katharine McPhee (Smash, American Idol) is easy on the eyes. In other news, she's landed a starring role in the CBS drama pilot Scorpion. The potential series follows an eccentric genius who uses a team of international super smarties to help defend the world against new threats. Don't worry, McPhee will not be playing a genius! She'll play a friendly waitress who helps care for the team. Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie) is also joining the series as a behaviorist and member of Team Genius. [THR / Deadline Hollywood]

... Jason Jones of The Daily Show will star opposite Leslie Bibb in NBC's romantic comedy pilot Love Is Relative. He'll play one half of a couple that reexamines their relationship when the wife's recently divorced brother moves in with them. And just in case you needed a reason to root against an NBC romantic comedy, if this show gets picked up to series, Jason Jones would leave The Daily Show and we can't let that happen. [THR]

... CBS's Criminal Minds is finding one of its upcoming killers in Scrantonicity! Brian Baumgartner (The Office's Kevin) will guest-star as the sicko of the week in the 22nd episode of this season. [TV Line]

... Former Spice Girl and America's Got Talent judge Mel B. (Scary Spice) has joined the NBC tennis comedy pilot The Pro, from Rob Lowe. Since this news was announced via Rob Lowe's Twitter (which is apparently a thing now because he did it last week, too), I have no details on what role she'll be playing. But I'm guessing she'll play a woman. [Rob Lowe's Twitter]


SAD NEWS

... On Saturday, comedian David Brenner passed away at the age of 78 due to complications from cancer. Brenner made more than 150 appearances on The Tonight Show during Johnny Carson's reign and even filled in as substitute host on multiple occasions. [SF Gate]


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/22/2007

Season 3 : Episode 20

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New Transformers series following Bumblebee and a bunch of new characters? Not where I would have taken the series, but I guess it could be good. As long as it isn't aimed at a really young demographic.
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Scorpion is starting to sound a lot like Threshold.
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Sounds like Kevin has taken a dark turn since he was fired from Scranton...
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It's killing me to not be able to see the Veronica Mars movie in theaters, but they're not playing it remotely close... but good news: the Blu-ray's out May 6th then I'll watch it whenever I please.
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I want to see the VM movie but it's not showing in my state.
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Sad news about David Brenner's passing, he was one of those folks who seemed like they wouldn't be funny but was actually really sharp.
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Are we sure that $2 million at so few theaters isn't at pace with their expectations? They couldn't have expected it to perform much better than that on so few screens, could they? It's per theater average was $6,833, well above any other movie that weekend besides Gran Budapest Hotel.

I really hope this does in fact lead to more V-Mars in our future. The movie was an expert-level film adaptation and continuation of a show that I thought would have trouble getting back into its groove. Awesome work by everyone involved.
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Exactly, they made more per screen than most other movies, they could not reasonably have been expecting much more than that with a release that was limited to 1 theater company and competing with the VOD release (for which we don't have any number).
I'm sure they consider it a success and I think they may do a sequel, but also low-budget.
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I would love to see netflix bring the series back.
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The limited number of theatre was a problem. I live in Tennessee and the nearest theater was in Atlanta,GA. I know I could have watched on demand. But I would have rather seen it at the movies. Does the $ amount include how much it made on "on demand and iTunes"
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It does not. And we're likely to never know what those numbers are because they don't make a habit of releasing them.
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The movie was great but I don't think that many shows can repeat that even if they get enough money.
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I loved the movie! Now I'm sad because there will never be new VM material to look forward to...It really is like a friend died (No, I'm not a drama queen. Well, usually)
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Apart from the two books Thomas is writing he has confirmed a deal for a comedy web series of CW Seed and this is verbatim what he shared via kickstarter:
  • We have reached a deal to produce a comedy web series for CW Seed, which both is and isn't a spin-off of Veronica Mars. It's more of a spin-off about a spin-off.
  • The basic idea is that Ryan Hansen will play a version of himself, as he tries to put together a Dick Casablancas-centric television spin-off, calling on his pals fromVeronica Mars, Party Down and beyond to help him get the show off the ground. For the most part, I would expect that these friends will also be playing versions of themselves.
  • We're not talking about a full-length series, here. We still need to figure out the specifics, but we're probably looking at 8 or so webisodes, lasting 5-10 minutes each.
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Well, there will never be new VM material until the first book drops next week.

Plus, there's a fairly good chance that there could be a series of straight-to-streaming films. (Depending, mostly, on how much other work Ms. Bell has).
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Loved the VM movie! I bought it from iTunes. If I was only ever going to buy one movie from iTunes, it was always going to be VM.
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That Buzz article is not a great, balanced or accurate assessment of the VM Movie release. The average per screen & per cinema on this very limited release (under 300 screens over the whole of the US) were comparatively positive (vs. other releases on the same weekend) and a 2MM opening weekend in this context (where the movie is also immediately available online and on DVD a few days later) is a fairly good result by most people's opinions... Thomas himself said at Paleyfest he'd be happy if the movie got 1MM box office in the first weekend... http://www.deadline.com/2014/03/paleyfest-veronica-mars-kristen-bell/
The VM Movie is not a typical (nor particularly good) feature film and is unlikely to win any awards or get a big theatrical income but that was never the point. If it had been, it wouldn't have taken 7/8 years to make and needed funds from fans & production/acting team involved.
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$2 million dollars from 291 screens actually IS great.
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What about the On Demand Money! I bet that amount should equal or surpass the Theater Intake!!
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Tim, that's a per-screen average of $6,833, which is very healthy and quite high for a movie bringing in over a million. Also, that $2 million box office does not include VOD numbers.
It's highly likely the movie will make back its $5.7 million production budget and with a careful expansion of theaters and marketing, the it could turn a respectable profit over time.
Either way, it's already a significant success for everyone involved.
Don't know if it will usher in an era of crowdfunded movies but it certainly proves that there exists loyal fans willing to combine both social media activism and their own cash to back a project they care about.
As pilot programs go, this is as successful a test run as anyone could hope for.

I personally have never watched an episode of Veronica Mars but just imagine if crowdfunding had been a thing at the end of Buffy, Firefly, or TSCC; the people would have demanded showrunners launched a crowdfunding project.
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The important test actually isn't the Kickstarter funding. Rather, it's the straight-to-streaming release model. That's what the studios are really testing, and if it works out (i.e., makes a big enough profit), you could see more similar films. Wherever there was a "cancelled-too-soon" series, left open-ended, and a cast (or at least a star) who loved the project, you could see a straight-to-streaming continuation film.
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I don't believe there's such a thing as "canceled too soon". Either people watch it or they don't. If there aren't enough fans to support it on television, there aren't enough fans to warrant a movie.
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Sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of Paramount counting cash from their "Star Trek" franchise, which was spawned by a TV series that barely limped through three seasons on network television.
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If you look at it from a network's POV of course you are right, a show that's watched and earns money will never be canceled too soon (it may end though).
But from an artistic POV there are numerous shows that, due to low ratings, were canceled too soon, ie before they could tell all their stories.
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Didn't David Brenner also play the Man from Glad at one point? Nice to see Criminal Minds getting back to what it does best: casting has-beens against type as serial killers. That's what's been missing the last couple of seasons. And while I'm loathe to pre-judge things on a preliminary description, Scorpions sounds awful, like a cross between Whiz Kids, The Wizard, and The Trouble with Normal, or (shudder) maybe even The Big Bang Theory recast as a crime drama.

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I don't want disregard the Veronica Mars fans all over the world. It was a great tv show and really good film, but I don't think this should stand as a voting criteria as to weather the kickstarter campaigns for tv made into film should become a thing or not. I like the idea that the people get to choose if they want to see their favourite tv show on the big screen. #CharmedMovie
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Yes, it's not the biggest box-office haul, but, given the limited screens it was playing it, and the total lack of publicity it got from Warner in general, Veronica Mars actually did better business than expected. Per screen, it made more money than any other movies which played last week, except for The Grand Budapest Hotel - not bad. Plus, we all kinda expected it to get its money back on DVD, so, all and all... sound like a success to me.

And let's make sure that awful sounding NBC sitcom tanked BIG TIME - love Jason Jones, and only want the best for his career... but I'm a selfish man, so I want him on The Daily Show, and nowhere else.
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I dont think that buzzfeed article is completely right, it mentions the cinemas getting half the profits, which I dont think they do. WB had to rent the cinemas rather than the cinema buying the movie, which would mean WB get the profits and paid a flat rate to rent the screens for the showings.
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Word is there will not be 2nd film regardless of how well this does or doesn't do. Rob Thomas it appears has already been asked a million times when a sequel will be filmed & his response was negative.

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Translation... "I don't have a deal in place". He's also on record as saying that there might be a (viable) market for low-budget VM films, and he's right about that. There's probably not enough love out there to support a wide theatrical release... but straight-to-DVD (or its modern version, straight-to-streaming) is a real possibility.
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The figure quoted is just theater revenue but what about the online revenue from Google Play & iTunes. I paid my $4 & rented it, I hate paying for overpriced soda / popcorn.
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VERONICA!
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It was hard to see it in theaters because it was so limited with the number of theaters it was playing in
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So does this figure count in the digital downloads? I didn't go see it in theaters, but I did buy the digital copy. Seems unfair if they just count one source of income but not the other since both were available on the same day.
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I think it is just theatres. Plus it is only 291 theatres so that is a fairly limited release. I think they are still adding up the digital side.
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theatrical release and DVD and other "home" sales are accounted differently, which makes a big deal for people who have profit participation. There are substantial differences... Theatrical release is way more expensive (you have to make prints of the movie, and there's usually an ad budget to let people know about your movie, and the stars have to make the rounds of the talk shows and give interviews to other media outlets, etc.) Meanwhile, DVD release (and sales to ancillary markets... premium cable, streaming services) has a much lower upfront cost and a much longer revenue trail.
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Bill Engvall doesn't appeal to everyone... having said that, I love his comedy. His short runned tv series was actually pretty good, but I don't want more reality tv... Bill, stick to comedy acts.

Transformers cartoon has been done and redone over and over, I have seen a few, but nothing tops the orginal series.

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Veronica Rocks! I hope she makes it to 12 million dollars and beyond.
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Box office opening numbers aren't really relevant for the Veronica Mars movie considering its a limited release with only VoD options for 90% of cities. Most people had to rent it online or whatever. I used Amazon. A couple friends of mine used some sort of weird Flixster/Vudu combination. A couple other friends were confused by where to see it. A couple others are waiting for it to show on more screens.
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If it's legal where they live, they can download it through torrent.
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but we want it to make money so we can get another one.
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I agree , Sami, but it is not played in the Middle East.
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i loved Veronica Mars, I bought the movie on itunes as soon as it was available because I didnt check to seeif a cinema near me was playing it.
Quick trivia question, anyone in south west Sydney (Australia) know where the nearest cinema was that played it?
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they had it on for one night only
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The only reason why the show did not do better, and it did not do bad, is because of the fact that it is a SHOW adapted to the big screen. The people who are going to see it will be limited to the die-hard fans that made it happen, and maybe a few others. I don't know the story of the movie, but I doubt it can stand on its own as a feature flick for those who don't have the background and the love.
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The number of TV shows that have had continuations (as opposed to adaptations) is fairly small. Off the top of my head, there's Star Trek, the Muppet Show, Firefly, and now Veronica Mars. Those first two became huge revenue streams as movie franchises.
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Not at all. There are many adaptations, it just depends on from what and from where if you hear about it. For example, did you go see the first 24 movie to grace the silver screen? The A-Team? The Last Air-bender? Charlie's Angels? Dragnet? Hell... there are heaps. I'm not pointing this out to mock you or anything, but just to prove a point. There are as many adaptations one way as the other, you just don't hear about the one way as much because the show is already so established.
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"I'm not pointing this out to mock you or anything, but just to prove a point."
Before you do that, you should make sure you understood what you're responding to, which you didn't.

What does the number of adaptations of TV shows (crappy or otherwise) have to with continuations, which is what Veronica Mars is?

The number of TV shows where the original show is continued is small. There's more than the ones I listed before... the Batman animated series, for example, spawned several movies... but the point is that although some have done poorly (by studio standards), others have been huge windfalls.

If your thesis is that a film continuing the story of a TV show that ran for three low-rated seasons on television several years previous can't be successful, I have two words for you, and those words are "Star Trek". Not only did that film make money, it spawned a dozen more movies and four more TV series. Oh yeah, and most of its current fans weren't even ALIVE YET when the original shows aired.

(P.S. The answer is that I did not see the 24 movie (or know there was one) because gave up on 24 in season 1. The A-Team was stupid as a TV show and I wouldn't have expected it to be anything else as a movie. Never watched any of the last airbender. Never watched Charlie's Angels. And... never watched Dragnet, although I heard that Dan Aykroyd was good as the straight man. I guess this is an argument against bad adaptations of bad TV shows?)
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doc: "what does the number of adaptations of TV shows (crappy or otherwise) have to (do) with continuations, which is what Veronica Mars is?"

Speaking of understand a post before you comment, I'd like to point out that I'm not talking about remakes or reboots, but the switch from the 'small screen' to the 'big screen', and gave solid examples (24 in particular) or 'continuations'. The point is that no one who is not an invested fan in the series is going to look up a movie in the papers or online and say, "Hey, let's check out this Veronica Mars movie! (that we know absolutely no back-story on)" and pay to see it. The fans of the series will be pretty much the only people to go.

Now, if that makes it successful, and I hope it does, then all the more power to the people.

As for throwing in Star Trek in comparison with this, you're way off, and for so many reasons I'll only mention two: the show was still ongoing and hugely popular when the movies were made. Second they were not funded by fans after the show was cancelled. And needless to say, as a third, there was no Shatner (not that he appeared in all the movies, of course).
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Rob Thomas said he'd like to do a few more VM movies but that there was some 'magic number' that this one needed to make to convince Warner's. Better hope those mystery on demand payments and then dvd/bluray sales punch it home chaps and chapettes.
I can see there being a lot of booth clean ups if the nerds get too close to Katharine McPhee in Scorpion.
I'm still trying to erase the image of Jason Jones tightly packed crotch in leather and rubber bondage gear in the bit with Al Masdrigal as his bitch on The Daily Show - I've never seen Al look so scared!
Mel B might actually work as a comedy foil, at least, as she was on various Leigh Francis projects - as herself on the, at times, very funny Bo' Selecta.
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The streaming numbers are all the Warner's execs are looking at, because that's how the sequels (if any) will be released.
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In the article I read with Thomas he said it was primarily box office tickets that counted as the indicator of success and a Warner exec commented on them as being an important guide for him. As Kaitlin said, the streaming numbers are not known to mere mortals. And as this is virgin territory for movies, it's unknown how hard Warner's will count them. From a marketing point of view they mean squat, unless the streaming figures start to get released in a chart aspect like box office numbers are. Plus the large negative publicity of the cock up by Warner's to allow people to buy a digital download easily is going to stick in their craw.
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Oh, the studio wanted to make money on the theatrical release (and they will), but what they really wanted to know was how viable the "direct to streaming" market plan is.

Expect any VM sequels to come out straight to streaming services and bypass a theatrical run entirely. As long as Ms. Bell is content to take her paycheck as a producer instead of as the star, they can make money by making more VM movies and releasing them straight to video. There aren't any expensive special effects, and they set up the sequels to have Ms. Bell, and possibly only Ms. Bell, from the TV cast. Keith is hovering near death, Logan is out flying jets, and Weevil is "out of the game" if they want to write him that way. Wallace and Mac are the only characters who don't already have easy excuses why they aren't in VM2 (if the budget won't allow them.)
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Veronica Mars did over $6800 per screen, which was better than everything else but The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was only on 66 screens. I'd say that's pretty darn good. I'm wondering if they wouldn't have been better off doing a wider release for it instead of day-and-date VOD, which is unprecedented for a major studio film.
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The straight-to-streaming experiment is the real reason why the movie exists. The cash they made in theatrical release was just a bonus for the studio. If (when) VM makes enough profit to justify it, expect any VM sequels to be sold straight into DVD and streaming markets.
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Tim, you act like this is the first new Transformer cartoon since G1. You are aware they've been making them off and on for the past 25 years, right? Some of them are pretty good too; you should check 'em out.
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Not to mention he referenced a previous HUB shoe based on the Transformers. Tim need to really do his homework here. It's remarkably irresponsible for a TV columnist.
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"I have no details on what role [Mel B] will be playing. But I'm guessing she'll play a woman."
Unless she is playing a character based on one of the Williams' sisters, in which case, the specifics of her gender will be ambiguous and up for "hilarious" speculation.

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Any word on how much it made on downloads?
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Unfortuantely, they don't release those numbers. And probably never will.
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For crying out loud.

That was the only way I could watch it. WHY FOR IT NOT COUNT???
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no other choice, me too! It is time they get something to replace Nielsen which actually covers ALL the forms of watching an episode or a series.
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Okay.But I still saw it through other means than theater and my watching should count. Not for my sake, but that of the producers and money men.
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Neilsen has nothing at all to do with counting attendance at movies. Theaters report exact sales numbers every night to the studios, and have for over 20 years. Executives at the studio can pull up exact numbers of tickets sold, and (probably) can also get exact numbers for every streaming platform.

The only one they DON'T have is the number of pirated copies floating around, which, for obvious reasons, they aren't likely to get.
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I don't think Nielsen's apply to movies. Given the limited release, I would assume the VOD numbers will be comparable to, or better than, the theatre numbers (even excluding all the Kickstarter backers who go the VOD as part of their rewards).

If these numbers hold up and there is some modest additional growth that would suggest the movie would break even at the $6M or so it took to make, but not at the $12M I've send bandied about.

That may not support another movie but it could be enough for some sort of limited event series - particularly on a platform like Netflix or Amazon. Or that could just be wishful thinking...
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Well, I would have gone and seen the movie, but since it is not showing anywhere near where I live, it proved impossible. Probably for the best, though, as I still haven't completed all the episodes of the series yet. Maybe a lot of people are doing the same before jumping straight to the movie.
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Hopefully Baumgartner will be a serial killer that strangles his victims via Scranton Strangler
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I always thought he had it in him :-)
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I oppose the idea of any show involving Bill Engvall because it's perpetuates the stereotype that Bill Engvall is funny.
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I saw what you did there.

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hear, hear. especially that Tim Allen is doing this redneck stuff already on LMS, which I hate anyway. We don't need any other Tshit than certain crazy politicians are feeding us already.
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Tim Allen has really changed his routine lately. I don't remember Home Improvement including tirades about conservative politics
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Thank you for mentioning it, I didn't dare.
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Glad to see that Scott Baio isn't dead. "Starring in Nick at Nite sitcom" Oh wait... I guess he pretty much is.
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Bob Loblaw!
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Bob Loblaw drops law bomb on Bob Loblaw's law blog!
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I wonder if a Bob Loblaw spinoff would be any good? Any material there?
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I suspect not. Seems like a classic case of a peripheral character who is entertaining as a foil in small doses but not as a full on series.
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surprised theres nothing about how the kickstarter ppl are getting refunds from the WB b.c a large portion of them couldn't get access/weren't happy with the digital links to the Veronica Mars movie
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Don't think you'll need to root against Jason's Jones' pilot. It's on NBC. Like finding water in the Sahara.
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It's on NBC... which is desperate for anything, so they'll be far more likely to hold on to a low-rated series. Did you notice that "Sean Save the World" ran for more than 13 episodes?
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True...but anything that keeps him from leaving the daily show....
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