From ‘Downton Abbey’ to ‘El Camino,’ TV Drama May Be New Frontier in Hunt for Theatrical Franchises

  • Indiewire
From ‘Downton Abbey’ to ‘El Camino,’ TV Drama May Be New Frontier in Hunt for Theatrical Franchises
September 20 saw three films go into wide release: One was the latest “Rambo” reboot. One was a space movie starring Brad Pitt. The third was a feature-length version of a British PBS series that’s been off the air for four years.

Nearly three weeks later, “Downton Abbey” has trounced them them all, grossing $137 million worldwide. On the surface, it seems like an oddity: How did the Countess of Grantham hold her own against a well-trod genre franchise and one of the last remaining movie stars?

The answer may be that the dowager had a first-mover advantage. TV dramas could become a primary source of what fuels box office today: Audiences responding to familiar concepts in slightly unfamiliar circumstances.

It’s a sentiment that Netflix will also test with this weekend’s theatrical release of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will happen day and date with its October 11 Netflix premiere.
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