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Miramax: Unfair Telling Friends Movie Stinks

I’m very interested in, and more than a little amused by, Hollywood’s sudden disillussionment. Read the article (I’ve quoted the entire thing in Continued) and you’ll see the whining of Hollywood studio execs. Waah! Our big-budget marketing campaigns aren’t duping people into spending money on bad films. I kid you not, that is what the article says.

Film companies have been producing schlock for years and packaging it up in beautiful, wallet-opening marketing campaigns. They’ve sold the public on the campaign, not the movie, which often has very little to do with the messages communicated in the television spots, print ads, fast food chain and soda tie-ins, and toy, video game, and cartoon shows. When we go to the cinema, we plunk down 8 bucks for the commercials we’ve already seen, not for the film itself (despite our intentions).

Now Hollywood is whining and crying foul because technology is allowing us to tell our friends what the film is like before those friends pony up their 8 bucks.

I find it astonishing that Hollywood is crying foul. So, we’re not allowed to disagree with their slick marketing campaigns?

They’ll soon start defending decisions to dump scripts and stop productions because they don’t feel “the public will give it a fair chance.” Mark my words. Hollywood won’t consider that the movies have no artistic merit and the studios should improve their quality. Nope.

They refuse to recognize the obviousness of what they’ve stated through spokesperson Rick Sands, COO of Miramax: “You could…overcome bad word of mouth, because it took time to filter out into the general audience.”

In other words, you could make money on a lousy film because you’d have generated sufficient revenue before enough people heard that the movie stunk. Is that right, Rick?

Click “continued” for the whole story.

The Independent: Texting blamed for summer movie flops

Texting blamed for summer movie flops
By Andrew Gumbel

18 August 2003

In Hollywood, 2003 is rapidly becoming known as the year of the failed blockbuster, and the industry now thinks it knows why.

No, the executives are not blaming such bombs as The Hulk, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle or Gigli on poor quality, lack of originality, or general failure to entertain. There’s absolutely nothing new about that.

The problem, they say, is teenagers who instant message their friends with their verdict on new films – sometimes while they are still in the cinema watching – and so scuppering carefully crafted marketing campaigns designed to lure audiences out to a big movie on its opening weekend.

“In the old days, there used to be a term, ‘buying your gross,’ ” Rick Sands, chief operating officer at Miramax, told the Los Angeles Times. “You could buy your gross for the weekend and overcome bad word of mouth, because it took time to filter out into the general audience.”

But those days are over, because the technology of hand-held text-message devices has drastically cut down the time it takes for movie-goers to tell their friends that a heavily promoted summer action movie is a waste of time and money.

Five years ago, when summer movies were arguably just as bad as they are now, the average audience drop-off between%

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6 Responses

  1. Thia says:

    I go to the movie rental place, look around at how many movies are on the shelves and won­der how I can find noth­ing good to watch. Hollywood isn’t pro­duc­ing qual­i­ty films any­more. Considering how much goes in­to pro­duc­tion, you would think it wouldn’t be a prob­lem! Hollywood slowed down pro­duc­tion on qual­i­ty work, but still made enough mon­ey off teen flicks, now that isn’t work­ing ei­ther. Maybe the movie in­dus­try will be forced to get a lit­tle style!

  2. Jaime says:

    Y’know, when I read stuff like this I am re­mind­ed of what hap­pened to my fa­vorite TV show: Farscape. There was a show that was cre­ative, un­pre­dictable, could make you laugh and cry, and was con­stant­ly push­ing the en­velope of what was al­lowed on TV. People loved it, the crit­ics loved it and it even won three con­sec­u­tive sat­urn awards. But it was can­celled last year be­cause the sci­fi chan­nel claimed it cost too much mon­ey.

    That’s all hol­ly­wood re­al­ly cares about. It’s not about art or cre­ativ­i­ty or push­ing lim­its, it’s about how many dol­lars they can suck­er out of us. It’s not work­ing for them any­more? Well, boohoo. That just to­tal­ly up­sets me to no end. As my grand­moth­er used to say “you make your bed, you lay in it.” 

    Great en­try, btw.

  3. Jaime says:

    That re­al­ly makes no sense what­so­ev­er (but then again, that’s SciFi for ya.) Who cares if 65% per­cent of the view­ers are wom­en if it’s mak­ing mon­ey and everybody’s hap­py? Also, why spend the time, mon­ey and ef­fort to bring Daniel Jackson back on Stargate, when most of the peo­ple be­hind the whole “Save Daniel Jackson” cam­paign were wom­en? They con­tra­dict­ed them­selves by do­ing that (not that I am com­plain­ing, but any­way..)

    To me, it would seem like a bad busi­ness move to alien­ate a great deal of your au­di­ence just be­cause they’re wom­en. Also, wouldn’t that be con­sid­ered to be a lit­tle dis­crim­i­na­to­ry? Then again, SciFi isn’t the bright­est cray­on in the box.

    The on­ly time I turn on the chan­nel is to watch Stargate, Farscape re­runs and Now & Again re­runs. Nothing they have on there is worth the time of day any­more, es­pe­cial­ly Farscape’s time-slot re­place­ment: Tremors, the se­ries. But, at least now I know why. I’m a wom­an and I’m not sup­posed to like sci­ence fic­tion. :(

  4. She’s Jenny – Jenny from the Flop!

    Looking for some­thing to view?

    Some of my fa­vorites are:

    The Wicker Man

    The Stunt Man

  5. Thanks for the com­ments, Thia and Jaime. 

    I was a huge Farscape fan my­self. According to an ar­ti­cle I read, Farscape made mon­ey, just not the right gender’s mon­ey. The SciFi Channel, ac­cord­ing to the ar­ti­cle, be­lieves that the sci­fi gen­re is for men, thus the SciFi Channel is for men. They pulled the plug on Farscape when they re­al­ized that wom­en made up bet­ter than 65% of Farscape‘s au­di­ence.

    Then they re­newed Stargate: SG1 and in­vest­ed far more than Farscape cost them to pur­chase and de­vel­op new male-oriented pro­gram­ming (wit­ness Fear Factor). Watch for more two-dimensional char­ac­ter, drama-lacking shoot ’em ups from the SciFi Channel this fall.

  6. Now & Again was a re­al­ly good se­ries that got canned. Eric Close seems to have the kiss of death on him–every se­ries in which he’s act­ed failed to sur­vive past its first sea­son. I won­der if Missing Persons will come back this fall.

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