The Hissing Of Summer Yawns.
I've already blogged about the positive potential of Snakes On A Plane from a marketing perspective. Simply put, it sounded to me like a great movie. But if you wanted to know whether the great concept translated into a great execution, you had to buy a ticket because no-one was allowed to pre-judge it.
A refusal to show the film to critics is often seen as a warning sign of the studio's assumption that they won't be generating positive word of mouth. This time New Line cleverly justified their reticence and fed the hype by saying it was the people's movie but I'm not sure about the wisdom of that.
Too often recently, I've seen the role of critic attacked on the basis that if they're not creating something themselves then they have no right to speak. I'm against the constantly destructive critic, but pointing out what's wrong is something I won't attack and of which you should never be scared. New Line were.
The judgement now appears to be that it's an OK movie but not a great one. The critics would have said that and early audience expectations would have been realistic. Indeed, this genre movie would have been connected to its true audience. But, in the absence of critics, we have a whole day's attendance who probably feel slightly underwhelmed and will push out a more negative word of mouth than might have been the case. The opening weekend take will be good but will the cumulative revenue have been maximised?