Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes on a Plane Uses Social Media, Not Critics

I think this is a first for a movie. I was watching Global National yesterday evening when Kevin Newman reported that a new film called Snakes on a Plane used social media eg. blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, etc. to promote its release in theatres today. You can view the piece by downloading Global National's podcast (it's the last 5-minutes of their August 17th episode).

There were no advanced screenings for critics. Instead, one of the screenwriters decided to use his own blog to start a conversation with bloggers and podcasters about this film (I would link to his blog, but there's way too much cussing and taking the Lord's name in vain for my liking - use Google and find it yourself).

This is the first blockbuster film (that's what I call films produced by big movie hourses) to be user generated. Bloggers and podcasters told producers they wanted more gore, more violence, more blood and New Line Cinema, the distributor of this film, ordered 5 additional days of shooting to deliver on what fans were asking for.

The film was originally supposed to be called Pacific Air Flight 121, but bloggers and podcasters told them to change it.

Will I go see it? I'll wait for the DVD. However, I'm very interested to how much money this film will generate on its opening weekend. The film took $36-million to produce and if it takes in at least that amount over the weekend, I'd say that this is a wonderful case for word-of-mouth marketing.

Will the online hype prompt you to go see it? Why or why not?

Update: Snakes on a Plane was #1 at the boxoffice over the weekend, pulling in $15.25-million.

Another update: (**sigh**) Of course, the Toronto Sun just has a knack for these things. Is anyone reading this paper?

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