Earlier this year the German version of the American version of the British version of The Office came to the big screen in Germany.
The TV show ran for 5 seasons in the Germany, between 2004 and 2012 (no, I don’t understand that either!) and is a fine example of the well known German sense of humour (sarcasm intended). But, the show was highly successful, but that was where it ended. When the show (finally) limped to an end in 2012 no further plans were made.
Now, the show is not without it’s controversies. The show’s makers actually did not acknowledge it as being a remake of the Office. In 2007 the BBC brought in the lawyers and “inspired by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant” was added to the end credits (and a bag of cash was deposited somewhere in the Caribbean).
Maybe that was what led to the ‘no further plans’ thing. But, whatever the reason, the German fans were not content to let the show fail. A crowdfunding campaign was started by producers Brainpool. In a week they had raise €1 million. They did it in an interesting way. For each €1 invested, if more than 1 million people saw the film then the investors would get back €.50. This kind of investor profit sharing is a very clever idea and I can definitely see this being a wave of the future as we go away from ‘gifting’ to true investing.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that for 3 weeks the Stromberg film was the top grossing film in Germany. In it’s first two weeks in took in €30 million.
With numbers like that, and the interesting business model, Germany – and other European nations – might be on to a winning formula for home grown content resurgence!