In most cases, nearly half of a movie's total audience turns out in the first week of release, which means there has been very little or no word of mouth motivating most of the audience. In other words, many people go to a movie without any real information about it - without even reading a review. Or, put most cynically: Most of the time, there is no relationship between how good a film is, and how many people turn out to see it.I guess that explains my personal pre-awareness: I'm not going to like any of these movies. And I don't want to. I used to look for movies to like. Now, I flip through the pages and pages of ads for new movies and feel nothing but resistance. Too many. Too much. They're all bad.
So what makes people go to a movie? Generally, it is awareness - or now, in Hollywood parlance, "pre-awareness." Since studios cannot spend enough on advertising to buy awareness (there is so much advertising noise in the marketplace these days), there is a tendency to make movies with familiar titles, characters and stories: "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Spider-Man," "War of the Worlds," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." In the past decade, most box-office revenue has come from pre-aware titles, which includes sequels ("X-Men 3," set for a May 2006 release) and remakes ( "King Kong," Dec. 14).
November 13, 2005
Man, this description of the economics of moviemaking is depressing! Read the article for the details, but this is the real effect: