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Is "Camp Rock 2" one too many TV musicals from the Mouse?

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Is "Camp Rock 2" one too many TV musicals from the Mouse?

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Do you hear that vague whirring sound? That's Mickey's massive marketing machine dropping into gear. As the Mouse begins its final push for what the Company hopes will be its next big hit to come from the Disney Channel, "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam."

Demi Lovato returns as Mitchie in this Disney Channel Original. Photo by John Medland
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Okay, I know. Clips and music videos from this TV movie have been airing on the Disney Channel for months now. Not to mention that "Camp Rock"-themed premium iTouch and iPhone app that became available on May 11th. Which then allowed users to buy tickets to that Jonas Brothers / Demi Lovato arena tour which kicked off in Dallas back on July 27th. Where these tween favorites then spend a lot of their time onstage talking up / performing numbers from this "Camp Rock" sequel.

But all of that was prologue. The real "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" push begins today with the release of the soundtrack for this Disney Channel Original. You can download all 15 songs off of iTunes right now or - if you prefer - walk into your local WalMart or Target and purchase a physical copy of this Walt Disney Records release there.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Mind you, if you want to order your copy of the "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" soundtrack through Amazon.com ... Well, while you're on that website, you can then sign up for the "Rock the Summer Sweepstakes!" Where you could possibly win you a trip for two to Irvine, CA. Where on September 19th, you'll then get to see Nick, Kevin, Joe and Demi perform live in concert.

Of course, if you just can't wait 'til September 19th to see the Jonas Brothers and Ms. Lovato, you can always head to NYC's Lincoln Center on August 18th. Which is where the red carpet premiere of "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" is being held. Seriously.

Matthew MDOT Finley leads the ensemble in a dance in "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam"
Photo by John Medland. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Anyway ... On August 31st, the Nintendo DS version of "Camp Rock Final Jam" hits store shelves. Then - on September 1st - "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" becomes available to Verizon FiOS subscribers through Disney Channel on Demand.

But if you don't have access to Disney Channel on Demand ... Not to worry. On that same day, Radio Disney will be presenting part one of "On the Set." Which is this special telecast from the set of "Camp Rock: 2 The Final Jam" which is supposed to air from 6 - 8 p.m  ET / 3 - 5 p.m. PT.

Kevin Jonas as Jason, Joe Jonas as Shane, Demi Lovato as Mitchie and Nick Jonas as
Nate. Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Part two of this "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" promo special will play on Radio Disney at the exact same times on Friday, September 3rd. Which (surprise, surprise) is the day that this new TV musical will have its world premiere on Disney Channel US.

And to make sure that as many people as possible can see this Disney Channel Original on September 3rd, there'll be a mobile video simulcast "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" on Flo TV, MobiTV and Sprint TV. As well as an audio simulcast on Radio Disney.

Demi Lovato promotes "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" on Radio Disney.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Then - if you haven't already have your fill of "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" - the Rock Along edition of this new TV musical will air on the Disney Channel on Saturday, September 4th. With the lyrics to each being visible on screen and/or available for downloading over at DisneyChannel.com.

Then on Sunday, September 5rd, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers will host the Dance Jam edition of "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam." Which will reveal how many of the dance numbers in this Disney Channel Original were produced.

The cast of "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" goes through its paces. Photo by John
Medland. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Had enough "Camp Rock" yet? Well, there's actually one more "Final Jam" to air as the Disney Channel presents the encore edition of this TV movie on Monday, September 6th starting at 8 p.m.

"And why exactly would The Walt Disney Company air this 'Camp Rock' sequel so many days in a row?," you ask. Because they're hoping - come Tuesday, September 7th - that you'll then be so in love with this Disney Channel Original that you'll then spring for a copy of "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam - Extended Edition."  Which will be available in Blu-ray, DVD and a digital combo-pack that features two new musical numbers, "Walking in My Shoes" and "Different Summers."

Copyright 2010 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All right reserved

I know, I know. Some Disneyana fans think that it's just so bizarre that The Walt Disney Company would put this much time, thought, effort and money into the promotion of a TV musical. But when you factor in that the soundtrack of the original "Camp Rock" went platinum (selling over 1.25 million copies back in 2008) and that a total of 969,442 copies of the "Camp Rock (Extended Rock Star Edition)" DVD were sold ... Well, there's serious coin to be had here.

And the Mouse clearly thinks that "Camp Rock" will have lasting appeal. Given that - in November of this year -- Disney Theatrical Productions will be making a stage adaptation of these two TV movies, "Camp Rock: The Musical," available for licensing.

The cast of "High School Musical: China." Copyright Shanghai Media Group,
Huyai Brothers Media Corporation and Walt Disney Pictures.
All right reserved

And if Chairman of Walt Disney Studios Rich Ross has any say, "Camp Rock" will go on and on and on. Much like the "High School Musical" franchise.  Just last week, the Chinese version of this Disney Channel Original - "High School Musical: China" - premiered in Beijing.

So who knows? Maybe in a year or so, we'll see a locally produced version of "Camp Rock" roll into Chinese theaters. To be honest, a lot depends on how "High School Musical: China" performs in the coming weeks. Whether filmgoers  18 to 25 year-olds (which make up 80 to 90% of the movie-going audience in China) actually embrace this teen musical.

Copyright 2008 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So what do you folks think? Will all of this promotion of "Final Jam" by Disney eventually result in 2008 level sales for the soundtrack & DVD of this "Camp Rock" sequel? Or has the Mouse gone back to the TV musical well once too often this time around?

Your thoughts?

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  • word on the street, from people who saw it at the premiere: this movie is awful.  

    IMO, Disney would be far better off spending more money on writers to create a descent script than money hyping mediocre-to-poor projects once they are finished.  But then, maybe after the failure of Prince of Persia and Sorcerer's Apprentice, Disney might just spent a little more time thinking about the importance of a good script before green-lighting a dismal project

    And as for those 1M DVD sales of the original Camp...well, 2008 was a different economy.  I'd be surprised if any made-for-tv movie could sell 1M units now.  I'd actually be surprised if this thing moves even a half M units. I guess we'll see in a few weeks.

  • I'm confused... Disney is hoping that, by showing this thing over and over for free, people will be so in love with it that they'll buy it on Blu-Ray? If people watch it that many times, won't they be more likely to be sick of it by the time it's available for sale?

  • I always like to offer my insight since most of the people that comment on these blogs don't have kids and I have 3 (ages 7 to 2).

    My older kids are EXCITED about this. My son has been bugging me for months to watch it, since he hasn't been paying attention to when it premieres.

    To TJ, most of the Disney channel original movies are not THAT good, but I am not their target audience. I think that most of the Disney channel live action stuff is lame, but they are VERY popular.

    To Chris, I'm with you. I never understood why someone would buy a DVD for a show they just watched on TV, but if Disney can make some money, then more power to 'em.

    Just remember that Disney can't spend money on theme parks, hand drawn animation, etc if they don't have any money. And money from Disney channel offerings, princess stuff, etc is still money.

  • It seems to me that kids are getting a very limited diet in their entertainment these days. (Adults too, sad to say). Just look at the sheer number of these lookalike tween series and specials that have taken over the Disney Channel. Add to that all the soundalike pop singers on every top 40 music station, and you can see just how limited entertainment has become. Today's youth are growing up with the constant message being fed to them that there is nothing other than rock and roll (and the equally repugnant rap) - no other type of music exists, apparently. Will today's kids ever be able to appreciate the compositions of George Gershwin or Cole Porter, or the song stylings of real singers like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and their contemporaries? The entertainment industry has become completely mediocre in this age we now live in, and the once great Disney is just adding to the mindless, tuneless pap with everything they now produce.

    Jim, you said in a recent column that this is the new reality for Disney because it makes them money and that we all just might as well accept it. Well, I don't accept it. When Walt was in charge, he was a visionary leader who kept the bar raised high, encouraging the general public to rise to that level. Under his guidance, Walt Disney Productions created a legacy in film and music with timeless appeal. But now in 2010, Bob Iger and his fellow execs are content to create the same bland, mediocre drivel for kids that everybody else is generating as well. What a sad state the entertainment industry is in when nobody is willing to aspire to greatness, Disney being no exception.

  • all I know is that if my 9 and 12 year old cant watch this movie because Time Warner Cable and Disney are don't make a deal then I will be changing to satellite...I hate that I am at the mercy of these two companies but my kids are so very much looking forward to this movie

  • you could just by the DVD for $15 instead of switching service providers???

  • The word I've heard from the tweens who have seen it is that it is better than the original. I'll admit that I am only watching it, buying the soundtrack and the DVD for the Jonas Brothers. Disney was smart to put them in it as the draw. The other actors don't really have appeal. I don't mind Disney musicals 1 and 2, but 3 would be too much. What I mind more is that DIsney takes non-musical movies on their channel and insists they all have to have a song. Then we listen to Debby Ryan singing about turnign 16 and Anna Margaret singing about her den brother. Everything doesn't need a song.

  • To Pete Emslie, how did Walt Disney "push the limits"? Besides EARLY animation and Fantasia (which was a HUGE flop, as was Fantasia 2000), what did Walt Disney do artistically that was so ground breaking?!? The Disney Channel tween stars are essentially the "new Mickey Mouse club" and Hannah Montana is just Annette Funicello to the max. There is VERY little difference between then and now. Disney is just better at it now then back then.

    And as to music, I think that MOST current music is garbage, sung by talentless morons, but back in the 20s and 30s, I don't think kids were listening to classical music back then either. And kids weren't listening to George Gershwin or Cole Porter in the 60s. Every generation has it's own music.

    And to mk, you will be VERY happy when you switch to DirecTV. Time Warner stinks!! I've been with DirecTV for about 10 years now and I will NEVER go back to cable.

  • TJ -- yes, we could buy the DVD or they could go to a friend's house to watch if Time Warner and Disney don't get a deal done, but it is the principle...I have paid Time Warner Cable over $100 every month for years and  just want to be able to watch programs when they air.

    Jedited - thanks for the opinion on DirecTV.  I'm making calls to them and Verizon today.  Figure if they have good deals right now then might as well go ahead and make a change.

  • To jedited, I completely agree. It is all a cylcle from Annette, to Britney to Hannah.  As for music I can also agree, everything sounds the same, because the same guy is producing have of the music on popular radio.  You may not agree but Nick jonas record was amazing had great reviews, but he wasn't really played on top 40.  Why because he didn't have a guy rapping alongside of him.  IMO.

    To krj, I share your opinion.  The Jonas Brothers are the reason I want to see the movie and possibly buy the soundtrack.  And I too can not stand that everyone has to sing. But it isn't only Disney, look at iCarly and Victorious too.  

    To mk I don't have kids but I have neices & nephews and all the kids from ages  6-12 are excited about watching it.  In fact it was one of my neices that had me watch the move with her and although it wasn't the best acting I saw the appeal and really appreciated the message.  We are talking kids here after all.

    As for the overkill, yes it sounds like it but take a look at all the promo Toy Story 3 had, they make CR2's promo seem minimal at best.  Okay it is for TV, but who knows they may be looking big screen for #3 and I would be happy if that were the case, at least there is a real band in it.

    That said I doubt it would move as many videos and CD's because of the economy, but I think it will definitely get more viewers than the original.

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