How To Make Ten Million Dollars In One Weekend (A Play In One Act)
Setting: A movie studio executive’s office.
Executive #1: I’ve got an idea! Let’s make a feature film version of The X-Files!
Executive #2: The X-Files? Wasn’t that canceled?
Executive #3: Six years ago.
Executive #2: And hasn’t it been about nine years since anyone cared about it?
Executive #3: Yep.
Executive #2: Plus, didn’t we already make that movie?
Executive #1: Sure, but this one will be completely different!
Executives #2 and #3: How so?
Executive #1: Well, remember all that stuff about aliens?
Executive #2: You mean the central premise of the TV show and the first movie.
Executive #1: Yes. But, come on, everyone knows that “mythology” didn’t make any fucking sense in the end. And we want to make this flick accessible to a general audience.
Executive #3: The people who weren’t interested in The X-Files during its nine-year TV run.
Executive #1: Of course! Because nothing gets people to plunk down eight bucks for a movie ticket like a tie-in to a long-dead show that they never watched when it was free.
Executive #2: Hey, didn’t the series end on something of a cliffhanger?
Executive #3: I think that the aliens were going to destroy the world in 2012…or something. I lost track, or possibly fell asleep.
Executive #1: Erm…yes, but alien invasion films are expensive and shit.
Executive #2: Plus, that’s just so Spielberg.
Executive #1: Right, so we’re going to completely fail to follow up that dangling end of the world plot line and make one of those “monster of the week” episodes that the fans liked so much.
Executive #2: The fans that we’re not pitching this toward.
Executive #3: Oh, I remember those stories: the flukeman, the squeezy-guy, the killer cockroaches. Those were cool!
Executive #2: So, it’s gonna be about the flukeman?
Executive #1: No, no, nothing like that. Instead, we’ll make it more like one of the other episodes. You know, the ones that were pretty much like every generic horror film that’s come out in the last six years.
Executive #2: Umm…
Executive #1: Plus, we’ll market the film in such a vague manner that no one will have any idea what it’s about. Except that it features Mulder and Scully.
Executive #3: Those two characters that appeared in the TV show that the people we’re trying to attract didn’t watch.
Executive #1: Okay, I sense that you’re not really getting it. How about this? We end the film with Mulder and Scully…
Executive #2: The people that the summer movie audience doesn’t care about…
Executive #1: …and they wave at the camera!
Executive #3: Wait! Doesn’t that pretty much fly in the face of the show’s dark, pessimistic mien?
Executive #1: Mien? Isn’t that a pretentious word for a movie executive?
Executive #3: Sorry.
Executive #2: Getting back to that “waving” thing, wouldn’t it also be unbearably cheesy?
Executive #1: Yes…but…we’ll put Scully in a bikini!
Executives #2 and #3: Brilliant! We’re sold!
Executive #3: So, when should we release it?
Executive #1: I was thinking that the best time would be the weekend immediately after the premiere of The Dark Knight.
Executive #2: You mean, the summer’s most anticipated geek fest?
Executive #3: Starring America’s favorite recently-deceased actor in an acclaimed, head-turning performance?
Executive #1: That’s the one!
Executives #2 and #3: Genius!