What’s the point of making derivative genre films?

My good friend Jenny Inchbald, of Asha Media, Manchester, pointed out to me that the US multiplex monopoly means that the Arthouse circuit represents the only theatrtical opportunity for independent British films. Unfortunately the UK Film Council adopted the line that the British filmakings failure was due to the failure to make multiplex fare. The result has been an endless parade of derivative genre films made on a tenth of their US equivalents’ budgets which, despite often being no worse than the dross they aim to copy, fail to secure any form of widespread release.
But it has also resulted in the UK Film Council losing increasing amounts of money as this ‘dumbing down’ strategy backfires and blows up in their face.
What’s more by being mainstream they have no arthouse appeal, will never make it on to anyone’s ‘must see list’, and are not attractive to discerning European audiences who’d much rather watch anything by Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, or Shane Meadows. As a result these films have no backend either. So, strangely, making films we’re actually proud of is probably makes better commercial sense.

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