#245 – The Makers of ‘The Hangover’

9 09 2011

We know that the bogan likes sequels, and we know that the bogan likes remakes. Both of these things provide the bogan with a rich, nourishing bubble of security that – when it is enveloped by its Natuzzi™ couch, watching its Samsung™ 60” plasma – mitigates the risk that bogan lives in constant fear of. That it will buy something that reflects poorly upon it.

Most industries figured out the power of branding in appealing to the bogan long, long ago. Proto-bogans were encouraged to make their children happy little Vegemites™, or that nine out of ten doctors smoked Marlboros™. It has reached the point today that the marketing industry is engaged in a constant tailspin, like Keanu Reeves to the bogans’ Patrick Swayze, as they both hurtle to Earth, the bogan seeing no reason to pull the ripcord just yet.

The trouble in the modern day, however, is that branding’s easy with products that can be re-purchased. The bogan that is convinced to switch from Red Bull to Mother so it can be more maxtremely manly will continue to drink said massive cans once its loyalty is certain. When it comes to films, it is less simple. The bogan will, perhaps, pay money to see a movie in the cinemas, or most likely watch it at home on the screen it purchased on generous interest-free terms at Harvey Norman. Once it’s bought, or watched, it ain’t about to get bought again, no matter how strong the brand.

Now the moguls, as the movie types’ superlative tends to be, had a few fixes, namely making the same film again, and making n sequels of any popular film, turning it into that most appealing-sounding of film concepts, a ‘franchise’. Having bogans pay extra money for the sick-inducing experience of watching in the third dimension was also a brief fillip, before even bogans cottoned on to the inanity of Avatar (until Avatar II comes out, of course).

Trouble is, making a new movie is expensive. The cost associated with putting together even a lame remake masquerading as a sequel was discovered by the makers of The Hangover (Zack Galifinakis + baby), as they made the same movie again, chucked a ‘2’ in front (Zack Galifinakis + monkey) and made a metric fucktonne of money. Metric fucktonnes of cash notwithstanding, though, even a sequel is a gamble. So they figured out something even better. Apply the branding of entirely unrelated material to a new movie. Thus, even though Judd Apatow has directed a mere three feature films, there have been at least 370 lesser works tossed out to the slavering bogan horde with his name attached, to huge bank.

In the relative Apatow-silence since Knocked Up (no one liked Funny People), there needed to be a new brand to bring the bogans in. Luckily, The Hangover, with its references to maxtreme partying and Las Vegas, hooked bogans the world over good and proper. Thus, we have been treated to the likes of Due Date (Zack Galifinakis + puppy) and The Change-Up, in which other movies are remade at low cost, then branded ‘Hangover’. We’re confident that they will make a metric fucktonne of money.