The glorious Pete Vonder Haar and his recent article on Hollywood’s hatred towards its audience got me thinking. Studios now think it’s a good idea to not screen their trash for us critic-types. Why? As Pete proved with The Benchwarmers example, if people want to see crap, they flock to it. And 20 million dollars proves my theory correct. I saw Benchwarmers because it wasn’t screening in Pete’s city (or he made a smart decision and skipped it). It was as horrible, if not worse, than you could think.
But that doesn’t matter. People still saw it. In the press screening I attended, people were actually laughing at the numerous fart jokes. Farts, funny. This is something I can’t quite understand. But they understood it well.
Late last year, Rogue Pictures decided to unleash one of last year’s worst films, Cry_Wolf. I reviewed that film as well for Film Threat, even though they decided not to screen it for critics. Being the curious sort I am, I snuck into the public screening (which was the day before it was released theatrically) and my review was posted the very next day. I’d like to think I might have had something to do with it (but I know better), the film didn’t really roll in coin like some may have expected. Sure, the film (according to IMDB) only had a million dollar budget and it made 10 million theatrically, but still, it vanished faster than Jaleel White’s career.
Point is, we critics are still going to go. No matter what, you can’t keep us down. I saw and reviewed Deuce Bigalow II (for another publication) even though you didn’t want me to. I saw and reviewed Venom even though you didn’t want me to. I saw and reviewed Alien Vs. Predator even though you didn’t want me to. I saw and reviewed Catwoman even though you didn’t want me to.
Point is, we’ll find you. And it’s not like critics are the reason no one sees these films. When someone sees a trailer for Gigli, they are automatically turned off. I’m even thinking that if Ebert or the New York Times gave that movie a perfect review, people still wouldn’t have seen it.
I have an idea for you studios so terrified of critical backlash – and I think it’s a pretty darn good one – just stop making crap. Find the person that read Catwoman and greenlit it, and fire them. Punch them in the face first, then fire them. Your attempts to keep us out of the loop only demonstrate how un-proud you are of the films you produce. That says something to an audience right there. “See this movie, even though, we hate it.”
Well guess what… we hate it too.
Maybe we (being the few critics that screened it) were a little harsh on a few films of yours. How about this, I’ll put in a good word for you: