Buzz has always driven film success and Twitter has put buzz on steroids. Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno, for example “tanked” from the “Twitter Effect,” becoming what Time magazine called “a One-Day Wonder.” [see opinion commentary below]
Word-of-mouth now flies at warp speed and the worst thing film studios can do is oversell a movie in hopes to rake in first-weekend money. It just doesn't work. Todd Phillips, director of Hangover (the top-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, according to Warner Bros.) told The Canadian Press that, “In the old days, it used to be the water cooler effect… Now people get on their thing Friday night when they leave [the theater] and talk to 8,000 people.”
Films may be particularly susceptible to the Twitter Effect because they release widely and simultaneously, but any new product release can falter from Twitter’s trash-or-trust treatment. Keeping expectations in line with reality is key. Jeff Otto, blogging about Hangover at MovieSet notes that, “For all the great bits they gave away in the endless WB marketing campaign leading up to this week’s release, there’s still loads of great material they managed to hide from audiences. See this one before your idiot coworkers ruin it for you at the water cooler..”
Too late for that, Jeff. They already tweeted.. and the tweet was good.
-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo
IMHO, Sacha Baron Cohen's work is an intellectual tour de force. Above all others, Cohen takes a thorough, courageous, unflinching look at our lowest human preconceptions, preoccupations, and misconceptions. Borat was for the xenophobic and Bruno is for the homophobic. And -- even when it's distasteful and hideous to watch, which it often is -- Cohen's work is art, definitely art.