Posts Tagged ‘word of mouth’
According to Pamela McClintock of Variety.com the “specialty sector”, or independent film market, has received a recent boost in box-office grosses thanks to releases like Mark and Jay Duplass’ Cyrus starring Jonah Hill, John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, and Catherine Keener, a documentary that follows the raising of several children from all over the world titled Babies, as we as several others.
President of Fox Searchlight Steve Gilula says that the recent (relative) success of these independent films are indicative that there “is life in the [indie] market, even as audiences are being more selective.” Some other examples of these films include City Island, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
These indie successes hope to continue their theatrical and VOD runs, because as with any film the longer the run the more money they make. However, with word of mouth being the primary propellant of their runs such success is almost completely reliant on audience buzz, which is means these films’ futures are harder to predict than most.
One aspect that’s being tentatively attributed to these films’ financial achievements is how there are fewer large-market films being released during the Spring and early Summer months. Also consider the recent Warner Bros. flop Jonah Hex, for example, and it can be said that independent films have had less competition than usual.
The momentum that the “specialty sector” is building right now will be important for the current releases in creating Oscar buzz come Fall and Winter, as well as help later indie releases like Bill Murray and Robert Duvall’s Get Low, which will open July 30th, to do the same by holding the attention of audiences who may become distracted by bigger films such as Inception, Predators, Twilight: Eclipse, Salt, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and Tron.
In thinking of what kind of strange changes could be made to drastically alter the movie industry, I tried to think about how different things would be if we simply changed the time at which movie reviews were allowed to be published. Obviously most of them are written and published before the movies they judge are released into theaters, but some studios decide every so often to not hold critic screenings for some of their films. When this happens it is usually taken to be an indicator that the studio is not confident in its product and therefore wants to spare the film in question any bad publicity for as long as it can, which is up until the end of its first weekend.
What if, though, there were no preview screenings for critics period? Some might say this would completely change what most people take to be the function of a movie critic, which is to act as a sort of consumer reporter that evaluates the quality of a product and relays its findings and opinions to the public. No one wants to go to a “bad” movie for obvious reasons – it’s a waste of time and money. Right? So if there were no advanced critic screenings then how would people know which movies are worth their time and money, and which ones aren’t? Moviegoers would be forced to rely more on their friends, family, and general word of mouth. This may seem hugely inconvenient, but some studies show that people already put more stock into word of mouth than in movie reviews (this Variety article proves very enlightening on this topic). Read the rest of this entry »