This summer featured a high percentage of failed blockbuster movies (The Hulk, Charlie’s Angels, Gigli, and lots more), and the industry has a new theory to explain why the movies flopped. No, it’s not poor quality, lack of originality, or a general failure to entertain.
Nope, it’s that darned technology. The problem is that we tell our friends too quickly about how bad the films are, using e-mail or instant messaging or blogs. It’s hurting the studios’ plans to get us to theaters to see a bad film on its opening weekend.
Here’s an article about the interview where Rick Sands, chief operating officer at Miramax, floated that theory. And here’s an in-depth look at movie marketing exploring the same idea, although without the self-pitying tone of Sands’ remarks.
It’s a variation on a play in the recording industry playbook. The recording industry says it doesn’t release crappy music – the drop in sales is caused by those evil downloading pirates. The movie industry tacitly admits it makes crappy movies, but evil text messages are interfering with the marketing campaigns designed to conceal how awful the movies are.
Watch for legislation banning text messaging as copyright infringement.