Title: Junior High Noon
Genre: Kids/Family, Comedy
Tagline: One kid can make a difference... with a little help from his friends.
Moral Premise: Community makes us stronger.
Logline: When mysterious new kid, Tommy Jackson (13), drifts into Westland Junior High, he finds the school on lock-down, terrorised by notorious bully, Miller Jr, and his posse. Fortune smiles briefly on Tommy, who becomes a local hero, until challenged to a showdown and forced to confront his shame.
This is a contemporary, fantasy Western set in an American International Junior High School. The teachers are American, the students are international. It is set in a derelict town - one road in, one road out. The kids run the school and the teachers cower in fear. It is fully of zany, comedy action. The villains can do things beyond the imagination. Candy is used as ammunition to fuel Gunk Shooters and other over-the-top weaponry. Raleigh Stallion BMX's as 'horses', Converse Spurs, baseball caps - all the trappings of the Western genre are recast in this fresh, fast-paced comedy musical.
The inspiration of the movie comes from "High Noon" where the protagonist is forced to put his principles over his own personal safety but finds the townsfolk unwilling to do the same, even though he does it for them. In our film we explore the issues of courage, loyalty, community, friendship and betrayal - writ large against the backdrop of a Western genre - but set in the intimate and painful coming-of-age period for young teens.
While the Western themes and archetypes offer great comedy that can be enjoyed by all ages, there is a topical story at the core about the effects of bullying and the importance of community in shaping self-belief, courage and moral integrity - explored in a family-friendly fashion and echoed in the subplots of the wider, adult townsfolk.
Core target demographic is 7-14 year old boys with a secondary focus on their parents. The music, dance, strong female characters and adult comedian cameos should give the film much wider appeal.
The closest comparable to JHN would be "Bugsy Malone". It, too, featured an ensemble cast of children in a gangster-genre, comedy musical. Figures are very hard to come by since it was released in 1976. Nevertheless, it remains hugely popular to this day. It was released several times in the 80's and 90's with a Blu-Ray edition in 2008. In 2003 it was voted by Channel 4 viewers as the 19th greatest musical of all time and by Empire Magazine readers as the 353rd greatest film ever in the top 500 Best Films of All Time. According to Film Club UK, a non-profit organisation that organises film viewings for 250,000 children aged 8-18 years, "Bugsy Malone" is their most requested title, hands-down.
We identified 57 films released within the last thirty years that are comparable to "Junior High Noon" in that they all starred one or more children under the age of 15 years old with adults as supporting cast. The average worldwide box office receipts of these films was $200 million and the median was $77 million (inflation adjusted). In fact, only 11 of these titles did less than $30 million.
If we refine this list further by limiting it to ensemble casts of children (as opposed to a single star, such as in "Home Alone"), remove the top grossing outliers (e.g. "E.T.", "Harry Potter", etc), and do not include sequels then we are left with 22 titles. The average box office gross of these films is $78 million and the median is $59 (inflation adjusted).
It is also worth pointing out that kids/family films have greater longevity in home entertainment than any other genre. For example, "Mary Poppins", which was originally released in 1964, has been re-released to cinema many times subsequently, grossing $650 million (inflation-adjusted) at the box office alone (excluding TV and DVD sales and rentals).
Given that our provisional budget estimate for "Junior High Noon" is $20 million, these figures give us confidence that JHN has ample precedence to at least break even in its theatrical run before it is released to home entertainment. Coupled with its strong home entertainment prospects, we believe that JHN represents a fantastic investing opportunity.
If you are interested in investing in JHN, then please contact @dgw via direct message here on this site.
JHN Mood Reel - clips showcasing tone, comedy-action, manga-style live-action with kids under 16 yrs:
Here is the latest Marketing Pack:
Here are the first 24 pages of the current script:
Film Club UK Close Encounters
We worked with Film Club in the UK (which has 250,000 students in schools across the nation) to run focus groups on the script. Here is the promotional video they used to support this effort.