Dragon's Lair Movie Crowdfunding Canceled, But Project Not Dead [UPDATE]



[UPDATE] The new crowdfunding campaign for a Dragon's Lair movie is now live on Indiegogo. Don Bluth and Gary Goldman are looking to raise $250,000 (compared to $550,000 from the canceled Kickstarter) to fund the production of a sizzle reel that they'll use to pitch to investors. You can learn more about the new Indiegogo campaign here.

The original story is below.

The Kickstarter campaign for a movie based on the arcade classic Dragon's Lair has been canceled. But while that campaign is dead, the project itself is not. In an update posted on Kickstarter this week, producers and animation veterans Don Bluth and Gary Goldman announced that a "stronger, more valiant" campaign will resurface next week on Indiegogo, another popular crowdfunding site.

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"Today, we are canceling our crowdfunding campaign," they said. "Ah, but Dirk and Daphne are not done yet! We'll all be back in action on Tuesday, December 1st with a stronger, more valiant campaign we modeled after many of your suggestions."

A placeholder page for the project on Indiegogo is available here. You can join the mailing list by providing your email.

Bluth and Goldman, whose film credits include The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven, An American Tail, and The Secret of NIMH, launched the original Kickstarter campaign back in October, at the time asking for $550,000. That would be used to make a 10-minute teaser that Bluth and Goldman would then pitch a full-length movie to Hollywood studios. Bluth and Goldman will also meet with private investors or investment banks to secure funding.

At the time of its cancellation this week, Bluth and Goldman raised more than $240,000 from close to 3,000 people. They estimate that it would actually cost around $70 million to make the full movie when all is said and done, which is reportedly on the lower end of what animated films cost these days.

Dragon's Lair was originally released for arcades in the 1980s. Bluth and Goldman said last month that it's Dragon's Lair, not any of their films, that fans know them best for. They estimated that there are "millions" of Dragon's Lair fans out there, 30 years after the game's original release.

How the new Indiegogo campaign differs from the Kickstarter effort remains to be seen. We'll have all the details for you on Tuesday when the page goes up.

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Avatar image for drewjbx

half a million dollars for a 5 min clip just to show studios... thats a tuff sale

Avatar image for grin89

they should've used the magic sword.

Avatar image for davillain-

I may have back up for Star Citizen, but I won't be backing up Dragon's Lair.

Avatar image for armor_10

Not sure if you knew about this but Joel from MST3K is trying to put the band back together. They have raised over 3.1mil so far. There ultimate goal is 5.5mil which would fund a full season of 12 episodes. They are so far the second highest funded Kickstarter for a movie right after Veronica Mars. This is going to happen. http://kck.st/20K5uyf

Avatar image for silentmobius

@armor_10: Thanks for letting me know about this. I'm a huge fan of MST3K and would love to see a revival happen.

Avatar image for Stiler

The biggest reason that many people didn't back this campaign was the fact that you didn't even get the bloody "short" movie they were going to make (From the campaign you're giving money toward) unless you paid like 75+ bucks.

That was absurd.

It'd be like a game kickstarter locking all of the tiers to actually get the game to something high.

They'd have got a lot more support if they weren't so stingy about the rewards and had like a good 15-20 dollar tier to actually GET what you are freaking help fund to get made.

Avatar image for subsided94

Going to IndieGoGo so they can take what they can get and run like the wind

Avatar image for Stebsis

@subsided94: I doubt they'll run. As it says, this is basically a crowdfunding for them to make just a small teaser to pitch to studios to get the full funding for the actual movie. If they don't meet the goal, they'll probably just make what they can and try to go with it. Still, it's asking quite a lot just for a hope that some Hollywood guys will like it, and if that 10 minutes isn't satisfactory for anyone then it's just over, they won't have the money to make something different and no one will back them up then

Avatar image for Hurvl

@Stebsis: It all sounds very shaky but not necessarily shady, even though Indiegogo assures that they can just take whatever money they get and do something with it. Giving them money in the hopes that some Hollywood studio will give them much more money doesn't strike me as the best way to get everyone what they want. Are Hollywood studios even interested in the kind of movie they want to make? This can lead to disappointment in so many ways.

Avatar image for devilmikey

It was kind of a mess. Honestly trying to crowd fund a short film to show off to studios in hopes that they green light a movie is always going to have a hard time getting funding on kickstarter or whatever. I mean even if you succeed their is even less chance then normal that anything will come of it. Heck the chances of it happening even if it's funded are only marginally better then zero. It's a big ask for people to throw money at. Also it's dragons lair...it's not like were talking about someone trying to fund a movie for a franchise that is still relevant. I love bluth so I hope the stars align but I think the campaign is doomed from the onset if you ask me.

Avatar image for Byshop

I hope the next campain goes better. As for their projected cost, $70 mil is what an animated feature costs these days? Holy crap.

Avatar image for burasta

@Byshop: Pixar movies usually cost above $200mil.

Avatar image for Hurvl

@burasta: They usually aren't that expensive, like this chart shows: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/showdowns/chart/?id=vs-pixar.htm. Most cost around 150-175 million, but they sure aren't cheap. Meanwhile the Minions/Despicable Me movies, not made by Pixar, cost less than 80 million and have altogether made 2,67 billion dollars.

Avatar image for burasta

@Hurvl: Those charts shows older Pixar films mostly. While 200m might have been an exaggeration 150 is also definitely an understatement. 175 million in 2009 is around 194mil today when adjusted to inflation. So let me correct it, they usually cost around 175-200. Brave was $185 mil. Cars 2, Monsters University and Toy Story 3 had $200mil budgets. Expect Good Dinasour to break over the 200m mark easily too. Yet it is also important to note that often almost half of that budget is marketing.

I don't know why you brought Despicable Me's success into this. Box office has nothing to with this discussion. @Byshop was surprised animated features can cost $70mil and so I told him that it can cost a lot more nowadays. Of course you can make a good animated feature for a lot less. Shaun the Sheep had a budget of $25mil and Secret of Kells was somewhere around $9mil and they were both brilliant movies.

Considering Disney's last 2D feature Princess and Frog cost about $100mil which I think would be the most comparable to this; I don't think Dragon's Lair estimation of $70mil is weird especially since they don't have Disney overhead.

Avatar image for Hurvl

@burasta: Box office means everything, these Hollywood suits won't give any money if they don't think it can make a profit. That's why I mentioned the Despicable Me franchise (especially Despicable Me 2 and Minions) as something that's a box office success while costing far less than any Pixar movie. Other than that, I agree with you on the numbers. I didn't take inflation into account, just thought that the chart I linked to would show a good overview of what the average Pixar film costs.

Avatar image for burasta

@Hurvl: Yes of course box office expectations is important in financing decisions by executives as it is return on investment as any product. Yet it is still not relevant in 'Man, I didn't know animated movies cost that much!' discussion. That is all I'm saying.

Avatar image for IanNottinghamX

@Hurvl: It has nothing to do with the company it has more to do with the production the movie requires to make it. You cant get the quality of animation they are going for cheap.

Avatar image for Hurvl

@IanNottinghamX: Well, I don't think that Despicable Me is any less good, quality-wise, than many Pixar movies and still they cash in just as much or more. I don't know what kind of art style the Dragon's Lair movie is going for, but there are good and successful animated movies that "only" cost around 70 million dollars.

Avatar image for consolehaven

@Byshop: That's at the lower end. Many animated films cost over the 100 mil mark. However, they rake in anywhere between 2 to 8 x the investment, plus the toy lines, video games, clothes etc...

Avatar image for austint30

This might end up like what happened to the Street Tuning Evolution kickstarter. It failed on Kickstarter and moved to Indiegogo and failed there too. :(

Avatar image for jakesnakeel

Can't believe they got 3000 people to send them money.

Avatar image for Mauro_Rosati

@jakesnakeel: If the project it's not funded they won't get any money. When you buy a pledge on kickstarter your credit card won't get charged until the project it's fully funded.

Avatar image for Stebsis

@jakesnakeel: No one send them any money because it didn't get funded

Avatar image for berserker66666

It should be.

Avatar image for falcon11

Well there goes my evening.

Avatar image for Chr0noid

Damn. Was hoping this would get funded. Cause I funded it myself. Ya'll better fund this this time.

Avatar image for jaifrecap

I hope the Nostalgia Critic's promotion of the campaign help the project.

Avatar image for cornbredx

I know Don Bluth best for a whole lot of amazing cartoon films, Dragon's Lair, and Space Ace.

I'm not against this or anything, but I've not been pining for a Dragon's Lair film so I could take it or leave it. I'll wait and see on that one.

Avatar image for Hurvl

@Chernnunos: It's more game related than most other movie articles on Gamespot, so be happy about that :P.