Lemony's a Lemon for Viacom [Motley Fool Take] December 31, 2004 Lemony's a Lemon for Viacom [Motley Fool Take] December 31, 2004

The Lemony Snicket movie underperformed.

Major bummer for the franchise including the video game my ex-studio produced.

Everybody is looking for the next Harry Potter, but of course, the next Harry Potter is going to be the one written by J.K. Rowling.

I really like the Snicket franchise and in fact it was my idea that Amaze try to get the Snicket gig. (Amaze ended up getting the gigs for five SKUs: PC, GBA, Xbox, PS2, and GC - that's very unusual for a single company to get so many SKUs!)

I've had a hypothesis for some time (the last couple of years) which the Snicket experience confirms: while there are a lot of "tween" books (and a vibrant "tween" market for books) there are very few "tween" books that translate into other media. I think it's because those "tween" books have a certain voice that no one has figured out how to translate to movies or games.

Certainly the Snicket books are all about language - they are almost a parody of themselves. The Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket contains an index that is hilariously self-referential. How do you translate that to images?

Anyhow ... it's the kind of movie that will do great on video, I think. Maybe that will give the franchise a second wind.

(Note: January 10, 2005 - Snicket movie is up over $100m now.)