Created By: NerdAtComputer on October 11, 2011 Last Edited By: NerdAtComputer on October 17, 2011

popular but unmarketable

Some work of fiction is well known, yet new releases of it won't sell well

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I'm really not that good at this, if some can help me clean this up, I would appreciate it. Needs a Better Description.

Also, if someone wants to finish it, it's Up for Grabs,

In order to sell books or movies, there is nothing better than being well known. After all, this means you require less advertisement, since there is No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, right?

Well, not always.

Sometimes a works of fiction or part of them (including characters), can be extremely well-known and popular, yet sell nothing when they are released on their own. It may sound contradictory, but it's not really that uncommon.

Maybe some adaptation made this story/character bad, and people won't live it down. It's also possible that the product itself became popular for all the wrong reasons. Another possibility is that the fame of the work of fiction is thanks to appearing side-by-side with another ground-breaking story/character, or being the begging of that ground-breaking story (thus belonging to the "mythos" of that series). Last but not least, is also possible that the story was fun at its time, but has simply gotten old.

It's not unheard of this stories/characters cycling between this and being actually marketable. Sometimes a new gimmick, deconstruction or side-plot is added that makes the public be interested in buying the product. But then, when the novelty wears off, they no longer want to buy, thus falling into this trope again.

  • Some old-comic books characters suffer from this, A LOT. They are popular due to being what inspired comic books, but on their own they rarely sell.
  • Aquaman is perhaps the best known example. Due to his Super Friend persona, he is one of the best known super heroes. On the other hand, very little people like him, so rarely gets any comic books. And when he does, they aren't long runners.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • October 11, 2011
    Another factor in comics is the collector who doesn't buy new comics, but they wait for the trade, or buy back issues cheap, or download them. They're popular, but they don't make money for the publisher so they cancel it.
  • October 11, 2011
    • IMO, WillSmith spoilt IRobot for us. The series wiritten by IsaacAsimov is hugely popular among people who love sci-fi. The movie changed the basic premise and spoilt it at a fundamental level.
  • October 11, 2011
    Film For a decade following the collapse of the Batman film franchise (the batnipplepocalypse), comic book films could not get made. The current vogue for comic films was jump-started by Stan Lee and Sam Raimi.
  • October 12, 2011
    ^Batman And Robin came out in 1997. X Men came out in 2000. Barely 3 years.
  • October 12, 2011
    @Chunky Daddy: Not only was I Robot unrelated to Asimov's works, but Asimov wasn't actually the first person to publish a story with that title, as the page that I Robot on its own links to shows.
  • October 12, 2011
    @Bisected8: Yes technically true, but most sci-fi fans would assosciate I, Robot with Asimov's work. Asimov's I, Robot is more popular than the work before it.
  • October 13, 2011
    The Bible.

  • October 13, 2011
    It's not really supposed to be marketed in the first place...

    And of course it's not marketable, as the world is at odds with God, and so hates His Word...
  • October 13, 2011
    That's not really what I meant. The whole idea behind The Bible is that it was perfect from the get-go and will never need a single edit; word of God and all. Naturally the church's policies have changed significantly over the years, but no one would think to propose a Bible 2.0, because that is inherently nonsensical.

    If there is a need for an update/sequel, that need itself invalidates the need for a sequel.

  • October 14, 2011
    ^OT, but Conservapedia has rewritten the bible from a "conservative" POV.
  • October 17, 2011
    I don't think things that are well-known and well-hated, like Aquaman, should count; of course they'll be unmarketable. We need more emphasis on the "popular" part.