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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.