This is one of my "I told you so" posts, because unlike those people who claim to hate to tell people "I told you so," I actually enjoy it and make no pretense about that. Of course, I suppose it depends on what the "I told you so" is about. I definitely won't enjoy the "I told you so" when Obama lets Iran get nuclear weapons, but that's another matter entirely and this is taking me away from the real point of all this, which is gloating about my contrarian predictions for Corner Gas The Movie.
When the film was announced last spring, media in Canada were wondering aloud why large tax subsidies were needed and justified for the movie version of what was the all-time most successful Canadian television series. While there isn't any real justification, other than there are tax-funded government agencies like Telefilm which exist for that purpose and love to hand out public funds, the need, from the standpoint of the producers, was certainly there. I suggested only an idiot would invest in Corner Gas The Movie since it's appeal outside Canada would be virtually nonexistent and for it to just break even, I conservatively estimated that one in every 22 Canadians would have to buy a ticket to see it in the theatres.
Well, that ain't going to happen.
Corner Gas The Movie hits the big screens next week and guess what? It's only going to be in theatres for all of a five day release. Because of the very brief release, the advertising costs are going to be less than I anticipated. But even so, unless between December 3 and 7 about five percent of the country makes a point of paying to see what looks to be an 88 minute long version of a mediocre TV show, then in essence, the Canadian and Saskatchewan governments have have provided a multimillion dollar subsidy to CTV. It works out that way since Corner Gas The Movie will be premiering on CTV, the network which broadcast the series during its run, on December 18, only 15 days after the movie's theatrical run ends.
Why would anyone want to bother paying to go to a movie in theatres when they can watch it for free on TV two weeks later, or even
sooner for Movie Network subscribers who will get it for free, without
commercials, as part of their regular monthly package? That's the first question I'd be asking if I were an investor in Corner Gas The Movie. Oh, wait! I am in investor in Corner Gas The Movie! Just like every other Canadian taxpayer who subsidized this $8.5 million stinker.
Why investing in a theatrical Corner Gas movie might be thought of as a good idea is not something I can precisely rationalize. But then I couldn't provide any sort of convincing answer for why someone would want to sit through 88 straight minutes of Corner Gas, so as far as all that goes, I may not be the best person to ask.