CATEGORIES CinematicalThe New York Times tells us what happens when bad word of mouth hits before the movie does. It kills it pretty much dead. Sony Pictures ran into this with their latest dead-in-the-water film, All The King's Men. The film opened this past weekend at seventh place with only $3.8 million in ticket sales, and a cast that most studios would kill for: Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Clarkson, Mark Ruffalo, and James Gandolfini. That has to smart; you'd expect to get at least four or five good movies out of those cast members, and instead Sony is left holding the bag on a real clunker.
The problem, as the article states, is that once a studio announces that a film is being pushed back, it is basically announcing that "this sucker ain't done yet, we're putting it back in the oven and hoping for the best!" That kills any sort of forward momentum the film has, makes people scratch their heads and wonder what the heck the problem is, and almost always gives rise to a rumor somewhere that something has gone terribly wrong. It's bad enough when a studio doesn't hold any press screenings, like the recent Snakes on a Plane, but even worse when they reschedule anything for a year later. Just look at what happened to Mike Judge's Idiocracy. Shelving it made the movie even dumber.