Can Kath and Kim make it big?
Posted March 8th, 2011 by debritz
I'm not a big fan of Kath and Kim, so anything I write from here on in should perhaps be seen through that prism. No doubt many people will welcome the news that the popular TV show is to be made into a feature film. I question whether it will be a success. Making it big on the small screen is one thing, but stretching out what's essentially a one-joke idea to a feature length is quite another. If it's made to a modest budget, it could be a big success locally - at the cinema, with DVD and online sales, and TV rights. But the producers seem convinced that this will fly internationally -- and there I have my doubts. Sure, you can point to the success of the Sex and the City films, but SATC had a much bigger global following -- particulalry in America, where the big money is made at the box office. Remember, the US version of the show was a major flop, so the brand is tainted Stateside. Of course, I wish Gina Riley and Jane Turner success, but I wish they could've come up with an original idea -- as the Working Dog folks did when they made the transitition from TV to movies. Instead of making a feature-length version of Frontline or (god forbid) Funky Squad, they came up with the original idea that was The Castle, and then The Dish. Paul Hogan didn't leverage one of his TV characters into film, he created a new one for Crocodile Dundee -- and that became the biggest Australian film ever. If we really want another Australian-made global blockbuster, then maybe we should be looking elsewhere rather than recycling a TV show that's already reached its use-by date.
PS: Now for some devil's advocacy. I also question whether a Kath and Kim movie is a project that should attract taxpayer funding. The TV series was a big success, so if the producers really had confidence in the film, they'd seek to fully fund it through commercial investment. Shouldn't government funding be there to help give a leg-up to people with a great idea who don't have the funds -- or the powerful and wealthy friends -- to help make it happen?