A few ideas for studios looking to cash in
HOLLYWOOD — Studios are always looking for sequels and franchises. And, with fiscal problems often knocking at the door, they encourage big-budget co-productions.So why not do co-prods on the sequels — merging the hits of two separate studios? By merging a couple of disparate genres, you can pull in two diverse audiences. For example, you could attract both the arthouse crowd and the multiplex mallrats with titles like “You Can Count on Me, Myself & Irene” (Laura Linney’s life is thrown into turmoil with the return of Jim Carrey, her wastrel brother who has multiple personalities). Or get both the PG and the R audiences with “Dirty Harry Potter,” in which the boy wizard uses his magic to blow away the scumbags and lowlifes. Or “With a Friend Like Harry Potter…” Or “Harry Potter & the Oliver Stone.” Oh, the possibilities are endless. Here’s just a sample: “Life as a House on Haunted Hill” — A dying man builds a dream house, then haunts it. “A Black Knight’s Tale” –Martin Lawrence and Heath Ledger team for a Ye Olde “Lethal Weapon”-style butt-kicking. “What Planet of the Apes Are You From?” — Garry Shandling stars as a sex-obsessed gorilla in the sci-fi monkeyshines. “Pumping Iron Monkey” — Arnold Sch-wuxiang-negger has never looked so limber. “The Last Ice Castle” –Robbie Benson and blind girlfriend Lynn-Holly Johnson reach the top of the prison figure-skating circuit. But charismatic convict Robert Redford plots to take their crown. “Bring It On Golden Pond” — Gimme an L! Gimme an O! Gimme an O-N-S! What’s that spell? “Riding in Cars With Boys Don’t Cry” — A journey down memory lane to a time when girls wore saddle shoes and poodle skirts … and so did Hilary Swank. “Cats & Straw Dogs” — Bloodthirsty pets besiege peacenik Dustin Hoffman until he throws them a treat: co-star Susan George. “D.O.A.I.” — Haley Joel Osment is a robot boy who wanders the streets trying to find out why his mother gave him a slow-acting poison. “Beauty and the Sexy Beast” — Ben Kingsley more animated than you’ve ever seen him. “12 Angry X-Men” — Mutants on the jury. “Confessions of a Dangerous, Beautiful Mind” — Based on the autobiography of Chuck Barris (“The Gong Show”), who claims to have been a genius mathematician. “I Am Samelie” — Sean Penn. Mentally challenged. Running through Paris. Oscar noms. Can’t miss.