These Sound Of Music Copycats Were Some Of The Biggest Flops In Movie History – SlashFilm


To provide a little more detail, roadshows were a common release format for studio “prestige” fare. It wouldn’t be until the mid-1970s that simultaneous nationwide releases became common, and studios used to send a limited number of prints out onto the world, opening in city after city, often playing for months or even years. Roadshows, unlike their limited-release cities-only brethren, didn’t come with B-features, cartoons, or shorts, and were presented instead as more “theatrical.” Films would be presented with intermissions, entr’actes, and exit music, and audiences would be handed programs or even tie-in merch. The studios did everything they could to make certain films feel “big.” 

But as stated, that format only worked for so long. After “Cleopatra” tanked — it was made for a bloated $31 million — roadshows were over and done. Dead. Sadly for the studios, the success of “The Sound of Music” indicated that the trend was back, and they perked up. “The old model will work again? Let’s keep on investing,” they seemed to say. 

(On an unrelated note, keep an eye on what happened in Hollywood after “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was a big hit. The superhero genre — as an ascendant Hollywood trend — was dead, but a few latter-day hits are going to fool studios into continued overspending.)

And, wow, the spending! The late 1960s saw the release of many, many expensive — and not very successful — musicals from across all the Hollywood studios. Could a film like Joshua Logan’s “Camelot,” based on a Lerner & Lowe musical, be the next “Sound of Music?” Could Francis For Coppola’s “Finian’s Rainbow” with an aging Fred Astaire be the one? Could (yuck) Joshua Logan’s “Paint Your Wagon” be the one? 

No, no, and no.

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