The part I'm concerned with here, however, is simply the question of Hollywood's continuing determination to attempt to follow every success with overly similar, or at least similarly marketed, movies. As I said, I understand how Roger Corman did and The Asylum does get away with the low-budget remake strategy. There's a specific number of people who will go to "Alien with more boobs" or "cheesy version of Transformers that I don't need to go out to the theater for". But it can be cut off well before they make sense for a major studio to do on a large budget.
Are there any good examples where a pirate movie was successful and someone made anything close to the same kind of money on the next pirate movie? I mean, in the whole long history of commercial cinema, has this worked. Not counting direct sequels, which are still generally a game of diminishing returns themselves.
There is a built-in audience for nearly anything. The various fantasy genres and sub-genres can look especially strong on the surface. But they still aren't nearly enough once the budgets for these things are looked at. And yet people are still trying in vain to produce the next Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Frankly, I'm a little skeptical that even The Hobbit will recapture it, but certainly not movies based on novel series that most people have never even heard of!
The studios have thousands of market research people and studies and facts from a hundred years worth of movies and yet it seems this basic but immutable fact escapes them time and again, and I can't for the life of me see how.
It's too bad Eastern Promises didn't do better. Even though I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet myself - the reasons aren't at all about lack of interest and all about having a complicated year - and the fact that the involvement of David Cronenberg already put it on my "must-see" list, because I'd like to come out and start a guaranteed niche audience for movie with naked fights.
Sure, I'm a heterosexual man, so I'd like there to be chick fights, like the awesome naked swordplay in Sex & Fury, but I've certainly watched Women in Love more than my fair share of times. I promise to see them all, as long as you include that in the marketing.
C'mon, Hollywood. Let's see it!