Power to the People...

The Independent is speculating on why so many high profile movies flopped this summer (via Adverblog):
"No, the executives are not blaming such bombs as The Hulk, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle or Gigli on poor quality, lack of originality, or general failure to entertain. There's absolutely nothing new about that.

The problem, they say, is teenagers who instant message their friends with their verdict on new films - sometimes while they are still in the cinema watching - and so scuppering carefully crafted marketing campaigns designed to lure audiences out to a big movie on its opening weekend.

"In the old days, there used to be a term, 'buying your gross,' " Rick Sands, chief operating officer at Miramax, told the Los Angeles Times . "You could buy your gross for the weekend and overcome bad word of mouth, because it took time to filter out into the general audience."

But those days are over, because the technology of hand-held text-message devices has drastically cut down the time it takes for movie-goers to tell their friends that a heavily promoted summer action movie is a waste of time and money. (...)"
Well, isn't that funny: the movie industry slowly realizes that viral marketing cuts both ways !? Suddenly movie-goers not only lure their friends into movies they liked. They also put up warning signs in front of cinemas when they hated what they saw - at internet speed !!

As an economist, I always like to see higher market transparency. It's not a bug, it's a feature ! After all, there is an easy solution to the problem that Mr. Sands and his colleagues are having: just make better movies !! Welcome to the market economy...