Random Factoid #369

1 08 2010

Have you ever demanded it?

The new system of getting little-known movies to theaters everywhere requires viewer participation at a new high. They have to go to the site Eventful and literally demand to get the movie played in their town. The only movie worth noting that has been released through this strategy is last fall’s horror surprise “Paranormal Activity.”

But the real question is how much of the success of that campaign was the movie and how much was the strategy. I’m more inclined to think it was the movie, or rather the trailer, which spooked YouTube audiences and became a phenomenon. Before you knew it, everyone was buzzing about the movie, mostly because of the audience reactions shown in the trailer.

Even I myself hailed the strategy as a winner back in October, but it’s getting a real test now. Did you know there’s a “Grease” sing-along that plays only in the towns that demand it? I’m pretty sure that endeavor has been a pretty big misfire. Sure, the last thing someone wants to pay $10 to see nowadays is something they can watch for free on ABC Family, but do the woes of “Grease” spell the doom of demanding?

What do you think? Will there be another “Paranormal Activity” to remind us that the demanding works? Or is the success merely an anomaly and demanding is headed the way of the dinosaur and the VHS?



2 responses

2 08 2010

I demanded two things, Blanc de blanc (that LAMB movie) and Paranormal Activity. It was pretty ineffective, my town only got Activity after the official wide release.

8 08 2010

I doubt this is something that will merely pass. As companies are trying to find more ways to make money, this can help decide which movies to give a wider distribution, as well as build up hype. Now, they can’t do it for every movie, otherwise the system will become deluded, but one every couple moons would work.

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