Power to the people — and, more importantly, to their pocketbooks.
Within 24 hours of announcing an Indiegogo campaign to raise $2 million for the production of a Super Troopers sequel, the team made their goal — and then some. As of Thursday morning, they've raised an additional $500,000-plus. The term 'success' feels insufficient here: Super Troopers 2 is a smash success, and a rousing endorsement of the crowdfunding concept.
Of course, Super Troopers 2 benefited from having a built-in fan base. Since the original film's release in 2001, it has remained a cult classic, as quotable for its target bro audience as Anchorman, but without the box office success required to earn an immediate sequel. In many ways, that makes it a prime candidate for crowdfunding: beloved by a small audience, absent long enough to make their hearts grow fonder.
It's not the only example: As Vulture noted on Wednesday, fans of the late NBC show Smash raised six times its Kickstarter goal to put on a concert version of its show-within-a-show, Bombshell. The Kickstarter raised over $300,000, becoming the platform's most successful theater-related crowdfunding campaign.
Funnily enough, the campaign's success took even its beneficiaries by surprise. "We had no idea people wanted this to happen," Scott Wittman, one of Bombshell's composers, told Vulture. Yet once again, this is the kind of cult hit property that crowdfunding benefits most. Given the chance to see Bombshell's songs performed live by series stars Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee and more, fans donated in droves.
Thinking about the history of crowdfunding, this shouldn't be a surprise. One of the first buzzy Kickstarter campaigns was for a Veronica Mars movie that indeed came to fruition. Zach Braff turned to Garden State fans to fund his second directorial venture, Wish I Was Here. The format has turned into a way for fans to, essentially, pick and choose what entertainment they want to see. If there are enough like-minded souls out there to join them, the project gets funded! If the audience is still too limited, it falls short.
The People's Choice: In an era of options and choice, perhaps this is the true calling for Kickstarter, Indiegogo and co. Will smaller projects continue to seek funding and, in some cases, earn it? Absolutely. But fan passion for retired properties matched with crowdfunding's power on social media is proving to be a winning combination — one that's here to stay.