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Golly 'Glee': Can the TV hit succeed on the big screen?

August 10, 2011 |  6:02 pm


There are millions of "Glee" viewers out there, obsessing over every secret crush, cover song and guest star with the zeal of a, well, Gleek. But how many of them will pay 3-D ticket prices to see the musical numbers they see for free on TV every Tuesday night on a big screen?

That's the essential question facing "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie," the documentary featuring Rachel, Brittany, Finn and the rest of the fictional McKinley High crew. As we explore in a story in tomorrow's Times, Fox is hoping that the Ryan Murphy show translates to the multiplex when the movie opens this weekend.

The company will have its work cut out for it, though. Few network series have been able to transition successfully to the big screen, particularly so early in their life -- when "The Simpsons" did it, the series had been on the air nearly two decades.

And concert movies have a mixed track record at the box office. Even February’s Justin Bieber 3-D concert film “Never Say Never,” which grossed more than $73 million, featured plenty of biographical footage from its star's personal life, something that's absent here.

Instead, the "Glee" movie, directed by Kevin Tancharoen, is focused on the performances themselves along with, via cutaways, the fans who say their lives have changed as a result of loving the series. And if you think you can grasp some of the film's details if you're not a Gleek, you might want to reconsider: The movie thrusts you right into the dressing room and on the stage with little setup about the characters.


Marketing 'Glee' the concert movie

As it seeks a big-event feel, Glee 3-D adds advance screenings

Show Tracker: Complete 'Glee' coverage

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" Credit: 20th Century Fox