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February 24, 2017

A Million Dollar Idea: Air Bud Meets Running

Let me start by dropping a startling figure on you: there are fourteen films in the Air Bud canon.

I was hoping to drop a second figure on you while you were still staggering from the first; one that impresses to you just how much revenue was generated by some movies about dogs playing sports, but sadly, due to the straight-to-home-video nature of the majority of the series’ installments, it’s difficult to say for certain how much the minds behind Air Bud have netted from their brainchild.

What we do know is that the original Air Bud film brought in just shy of $28 million on a $3 million dollar budget and that those Bud boys only lost around a million dollars on the second film, Air Bud: Golden Receiver. Now, I didn’t write the book on economics, but I’d imagine each of the next eleven chapters of the Air Bud franchise turned a profit, or the big wigs at Keystone Entertainment would have stopped making them way sooner.

The most recent Air Bud film, Super Buddies, is now four years old. The general plotline is that some of Air Buddy’s offspring get special rings that give them superpowers, which they use to fight a villain, per Wikipedia. The writers clearly left a lot on the table and in what I assume was a ketamine-induced stupor, strayed far off course from the first film’s simple and sports-driven story.

Maybe the four year silence from the Bud Crew is a sign that the world no longer needs Air Bud. Or maybe it’s not an omen but an opportunity.

What if some intrepid writer; a pen-wielding visionary with boundless time, energy and the ability to follow a tried-and-true formula, brought Air Bud back into prominence?

(I think given the nature of this website’s thematic content you can take a guess as to what I’m proposing…)

That’s right. Another dumb movie about a dog doing sports. But this time, it’s running-related. I’m still workshopping titles, but something along the lines of “Air Bud: Marathon Mutt,” or “Air Bud: Track Dog.”

It wouldn’t be remotely difficult to pull off. Air Buddy has already been made to participate in basically every ball sport and the general premise is always the same: some hapless idiot kid realizes a dog can play a sport. The dog is invited to play on the kid’s sports team. A rival team challenges the legality of a dog playing organized sports. The referee intervenes (“Ain’t no rule says a dog can’t play basketball/football/whatever.”). The dog wins the big game and the kid goes home happy with a best friend who is a dog and sports star.

Weaving track & field into this structure would be comically easy and could possibly be worth a million dollars. The budget would likely be smaller than Golden Receiver, since it’s easy to see how customized football pads and helmets for a dog can get pricy while running equipment for a dog is downright unnecessary. (But a dog in headband would be very cute and feasible.) And if you look to the headlines, there has been a rash of dogs racing humans over the half-marathon distance as of late, so really, this could be more of a Law & Order: SVU type of arrangement where only the names and locations are changed and you just make a true event more fantastical.

Now, at this point, you’re probably clammering to get your paws on this idea and cement yourself as a ground-floor contributor to the newest installment in the proud Air Bud franchise. I mean, if you’re not tingling all over at the prospect of fame and fortune right now, check your pulse, because buddy, you might be dead.

And I’d also imagine you’re asking why I’m outright giving this million dollar idea away for free. Well, the truth is, I’m not. If you’ve made it this far into this blog post, then we’ve developed a unique bond. The bond between blogger and blog-reader…and unless you wish to betray me, if you help bring this genius concept to fruition, please send me 10% of all profits and ensure I’m granted executive producer credits on the project.

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