by Michael Chasin
Of all of the pieces that comprise a film—many consider script—to be king.
A compelling hero, with a worthwhile goal, who overcomes character testing obstacles—and who ultimately triumphs—makes for a satisfying viewing experience.
However, with an unknown (read unmarketable) cast—will that film be widely seen?
The Brothers McMullen (Edward Burns, 1995), She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, 1986), and Clerks (Kevin Smith, 1994)—all had imaginative scripts.
Yet those films—with unknown casts (at the time)—were barely seen during their theatrical releases—reaching no higher than the mid-teens in their weekend rankings.
(Those films did go on to earn—after years—as the careers of their directors developed.)
So—others counter, of all of the pieces that comprise a film—cast is king.
A star with a high IMDb STARmeter ranking—which is based on their past films—would seem to create a reasonable expectation that their next film will be equally successful.
Nonetheless, without a great screenplay—is success assured?
Such was the case of Serena—reviewed in the previous post—with A-Listers Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
The pair’s earlier Silver Linings Playbook (2012) earned $132M.
So for decision makers—their re-pairing seemingly made for an easy yes.
Except—Silver Linings Playbook had an Oscar-nominated script—and Serena—a very far from Oscar-worthy script.
Thus Serena earned—$176,000.
Therefore, for a film to be successful—it requires a great script—and—a marketable cast.
It requires—Twin Kings.