He writes that "no studio is able to back down from the pressure to put out such clips -- often extended scenes that were first glimpsed in the trailer -- in the final weeks of a movie's campaign... If some studio exec was to back away from that tactic while competitors didn't and the movie failed, fingers would be pointed clearly at said exec. So it's go big or be the fall guy."
I'm not sure I quite agree with calling it a "freemium" model, since no matter how many clips a studio releases, it's still not the whole enchilada. However, this model does create a catch-22 for studios. If they release just one or two trailers for a movie, it could look like they're trying to bury it, but if they release a flood of clips, the return on investment is equally iffy. If the movie itself isn't appealing, or if it seems like we're seeing the best stuff already, it doesn't matter how many clips, tie-ins, interactive iPhone apps, TV show appearances, or giveaways there are, it won't get people into theaters.
Two of Thilk's examples are Despicable Me and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Both studios behind the movies released a slew of clips online, but only one brought home the bacon, and that was Despicable Me. Both movies had huge marketing pushes behind the movies. Would Apprentice have done better at the box office if we hadn't seen so much of it, or of its star Nicolas Cage? Even he seemed burned out by over-promoting the movie if you look at these clips.
Do you watch all the clips that are released for the movies you're most looking forward to, or do you think eventually these movies suffer from audience backlash? How much can we really see of a movie and its stars before it comes out without getting sick of it? Do you want more or less when it comes to movie marketing?