Huh. Didn’t see this one coming… It turns out The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has just been optioned as a feature film, to be produced by Scott Glassgold and Raymond Brothers (one guy, not a pair of brothers) of IAM Entertainment. Normally we’d say something witty or at least pun-laden about this development, but frankly we’re a little dumbstruck. Because this strikes us as dumb. A smart cash grab perhaps, but a poor idea for a film.
For example, in the Hollywood Reporter article announcing the deal, Glassgold stated that "We’re aiming to make a four-quadrant, family-friendly film somewhere in that Night at the Museum, Elf sweet spot." We note with interest that the one official statement made by the producers has nothing to do with the actual quality of the film or story. It’s just an indication that the project will be marketable. Apparently they don’t even have a story yet, but have been meeting with as-yet-unrevealed screenwriters to flesh out a concept. A film in which the balloons come to life is being reportedly being discussed, which sounds like a legal nightmare since Snoopy, Shrek, Spider-Man and Jigglypuff aren’t all owned by the same corporations.
Normally when you buy the rights to an existing property, you have two advantages: 1) the story has already been tested, so you know it works (not the case here), and 2) the property has an installed fan base, which is a great boon in marketing. We guess that second one is the real dealmaker here, but let’s not pretend that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a truly significant cultural milestone (Miracle on 34th Street aside). The entire event is basically one big ad for Macy’s, and a whole bunch of little ads for everyone else.
Plus this production’s going to be a bitch, since they’ll have to simulate – for weeks – an enormous parade event in New York City. Tax incentives or no tax incentives, this movie’s going to be hell to shoot and possibly hell to watch, since it’s likely to be little more than a string of ham-fisted product placements. Oh sure, maybe it’ll be great… but when the producers are only interested in expressing their ability to sell the story and not the story itself, the deck certainly seems stacked against it.
Glassgold and Brothers have only one film to their credit, the basketball drama Hurricane Season, which was shot in 2008 and ended up going straight-to-video in 2011.
Crave Online will return with more Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade news… unless somebody finally buys the movie rights to The Thanksgiving Day Twilight Zone Marathon: The Movie.
Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com