Ask Rob Thomas Anything: Giving Fans What They Paid For

In today’s video, Rob explores the Veronica Mars business model and says he had no problem trying to tailor the film to its Kickstarter backers:

In Willa Paskin’s opinion, Rob hits his mark with the Mars movie (which comes out today):

I don’t know how much money Veronica Mars will make, or how much money it has to make to be deemed a success, but as means of fan-satisfaction it is a needle to a major vein. Unlike the new, structurally complex Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars’ only ambition seems to be to deliver a product of the same quality as the incisive, quippy show—not at all a low bar. By unapologetically being an extended TV-episode in movie form, Veronica Mars keeps on keeping on with its major theme: taking things that are assumed to be adorable and unserious and safe and complicating the hell out of them.

In the next video from Rob, he explains that while he expected the Kickstarter campaign to be successful with fans, he didn’t anticipate how much the project would raise the profile of a show cancelled seven years ago:

Alan Sepinwall bets that non-fans will enjoy the movie, but he still wonders if the enthusiasm will translate to a good take at the box office:

I would say it’s a film where the story will be easy to follow for a newbie, and where they may appreciate both the performances ([Kristen] Bell’s depth and versatility, in particular, will be eye-opening to anyone who only knows her from the many dumb romantic comedies she’s made in the years since) and the snappy dialogue for its own sake, but where the impact — both the dramatic beats and the smaller character moments — won’t be nearly as satisfying without 64 episodes worth of history with Veronica and friends. …

Like the “Firefly” sequel movie “Serenity,” this one’s going to have to rely almost entirely on pre-existing fans if Thomas wants to be able to make more movies. (There is going to be a series of novels about Veronica, spinning out of the events of the movie, and the story leaves several plot threads dangling for a sequel.) On the plus side, the movie cost Warner Bros. peanuts, even after they chipped in a bit. On the minus side, over 70 percent of the Kickstarter backers get a downloadable copy of the movie, on the day of release, as one of their rewards, that they may not feel the need to spend even more money to see it in a theater.

For more discussion of Rob’s innovative, Dish-like project, go here. His previous Ask Anything answers are here.