Okay, the headline isn’t quite accurate — it’s actually the show’s creator Rob Thomas who is getting the $5.7 million from the highly publicized and grounding breaking Kickstarter campaign for the “Veronica Mars” movie, nearly three times the $2 million he was initially seeking. But perhaps more importantly, with the campaign over and having been wildly, hugely successful, the question now becomes: Did Warner Bros. just get away with having customers pay for their movie?
First, a few facts: EW reveals that most people gave somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 and that 91, 535 people opened their piggy bank to give some money to the project. Clearly there was a lot of passion for this, and certainly, Warner Bros. had made it clear in the past that even DVD sales of “Veronica Mars” didn’t make a compelling argument that there was any value in making a movie (though we can only imagine that between now and the movie next year, those DVD figures will certainly rise as interest spurs around this unique campaign).
The flipside to this, of course, is that $5.7 million is a drop in the bucket budget-wise for a studio like Warner Bros. (and remember, Thomas only wanted $2 million to start). What has happened, essentially, is that general public has just funded a movie that WB will be printing money from forever, having to do little more than market and distribute it. While we wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s problematic, it does fundamentally change the way consumers and a major studio operate in a pretty profound way.
And one also has to ponder what this means for Kickstarter in general. A platform intended for truly independent projects, those in real need of financing and the power of social media to help get them made and promoted, how does the game change when Hollywood stars and major properties invade on that turf? And should something like “Veronica Mars” even be playing on that field?
We’ve discussed these issues in depth recently, but with the Kickstarter campaign now closed and everything movie forward in a very real way, it’s worth considering once again. But undoubtedly, the fans are happy and they’re getting what they’ve long wished for, so perhaps that’s all that matters. Tell us your thoughts below.