Monday, August 28, 2006

The Promise and Peril of Internet Hype

There are things that confuse me. For example, the popularity of Ann Coulter. The Microsoft monopoly's persistence. The media's fascination with the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey. The grossly anti-student vibe emanating from my university's housing and IT departments. For one reason or another, the explanations behind these phenomena are out of my reach. However, the linked article asks a question I thought everyone already knew the answer to:
Why didn't the snakes have legs?
Or, less metaphorically:
Why did Snakes on a Plane tank?
Of course, I may be putting the word "tank" in Hollywood's mouth. After all, $15.2 million (and the number one box-office spot) is nothing to sneeze at. But still, movie studios want to know why Snakes on a Plane, with all of the hype generated by bloggers (originating here), only garnered $15.2 million. Hollywood wants to know why their $36 million experiment failed to garner any profit. They're confused, because the huge amount of Internet hype (and there was a lot) didn't convert to ticket sales.

Well, let me enlighten you, Hollywood. Snakes on a Plane did poorly because Snakes on a Plane sucked. Snakes on a Plane was popular online because Snakes on a Plane is a terrible idea for a movie. I was part of that Internet hype, and I didn't buy a ticket. Nor did many other people. The reason is not cryptic: We were laughing at Snakes on a Plane, not with it.

I'll gladly spend 15 seconds reading a humorous webcomic or Photoshop that lampoons a terrible idea like this. I really liked the current-events-aware Liquids on a Plane. I'll even spend 5 minutes sending humorous messages to friends about it, or 15 minutes blogging about it, because it's funny. But I'll be damned if I ever pay $8 of my own money to go sit in a theater for 105 minutes of terrible cinema.

Hollywood was dumb enough to make this movie. That's why it was hyped.

Apparently, Hollywood is so dumb, they couldn't even realize this.

No comments: