The name of the game in Hollywood these days is Franchise. In just nine years with 17 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has earned over $13 billion worldwide. Harry Potter conjured more than $8.5 billion. Star Wars will almost certainly surpass $8 billion after this December’s release. And sure, I get you--not every cinematic series is going to rake in the big bucks; for comparison, the three Human Centipede movies only managed to gobble up $513,014, but it does get one thinking about trends and tallies. What will the next big thing be and how can I get in on it? Between superheroes and pirates, titanic Transformers and terrible tyrannosauruses, there must be some string of hits just waiting to surprise everyone. Well, I’m entertaining investment interest for these new series:
Land of the Weevils
For millions of years, tiny weevils have roamed the planet, chomping on crops and making general pests of themselves, but when the unintended consequences of genetic modification turn the little bugs into barn-sized behemoths, family Curculionidae start destroying more than just fields of cotton. It’s up to plucky entomologist Claire Riley (I’m thinking maybe Jennifer Lawrence? Elizabeth Olsen?) and her on-again, off-again lover, Special Forces Colonel Rance Carver (Zach Efron comes to mind) to save humanity from their own hubris. My original treatment calls for a trilogy: the origin story, in which we witness the first few seemingly random attacks and Claire’s realization of what is happening; a direct follow-up, where we find Rance and his comrades waging all-out war on the weevil stronghold; and in the exciting yet thoughtful conclusion, we cut to 10 years later, post-Weevilocaplyse, as the last vestiges of society struggle to find the secret to their survival.
Bicycle Thieves 1-7
The streets of Little Italy are rough, and they’re about to get rougher. A band of bicycle thieves has been assembling in an abandoned warehouse. But this isn’t just a random group of thugs who prey on quick-release tires and poorly placed Kryptonite® locks; no, this is a highly-organized, exquisitely skilled collection of specialists, each with his or her own sharply-honed abilities and easily recognizable personality quirks. Their heists become the stuff of legend, and their exploits finance an adrenaline-filled lifestyle of midnight trail rides and off-the-beaten bike path adventures. But NYPD Lieutenant Ricci--aka The Derailleur--has other ideas: he’ll take down the Bicycle Thieves or get demoted trying. High-speed bike chases and breathtaking blowouts aren’t enough to fuel a franchise; we’ll find out at the end of the first film that Ricci might have an insider working for him. In the later installments, we’ll even see Ricci and the Thieves working together to take on an even more insidious threat to cycling.