popular but unmarketable YKTTW Discussion

popular but unmarketable
Some work of fiction is well known, yet new releases of it won't sell well
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-11 09:07:12 sponsor: NerdAtComputer (last reply: 2011-10-17 01:55:08)

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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.
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