Has media hype affected movies?

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

Remember a time when you saw the trailer, waited six months to see the movie, talked about the movie, and then continued to talk about the movie once it was released?  Nowadays, trailers and movie news arrive in such massive, daily droves that there is no excitement anymore, at least for me.  For the past six years, movies news has continued to grow at an alarming rate. For each release, moviegoers are with news, trailers, teasers, apparently leaked trailers, and teasers to a teaser, all within about 18 months before the film’s release.  By the time you go see the movie, no one cares anymore, including Hollywood, because they’re sick of hearing about how the umpteenth cast member from the movie said that the script is good, and that the sequel will be coming out two years after the movie.  I suppose that overhyping is a smart business decision in terms of building a franchise. A studio builds hype for about 18 months, releases the movie, and immediately repeats the cycle for the sequel.  With cases such as the recent Marvel movies, this appears to be working, at least for the short-term.  But what about the long term?

01

It seems that the bigger the movie’s hype, the less people there are who care for a movie after its initial release.  For starters, I don’t hear anyone talking about The Avengers or Age of Ultron—two of the most-hyped movies this decade so far.  When a superhero movie is released, most people compare them to four movies that have changed the game: Tim Burton’s Batman, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Fox’s X-Men, and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (Guardians of the Galaxy will probably be included on this list soon).  Most of the post-Dark Knight blockbusters don’t hold up over time.  Hype in trailers and movie news have killed movies such as Dark Knight Rises, Godzilla, and most likely Age of Ultron.

02

This is you, waiting for the movie to come out.

Now, The Dark Knight was released while there was lots of online media hype, but thanks to its new grounded look and performances of all the actors, it continues to endure.  The other aforementioned game-changing superhero movies were luckily released before the supersaturation of online media.  They made a push, and they broke through.  When Spider-Man 2 was coming out, sure I was excited, but the internet didn’t tell me to be excited.  Every time I get on the web now, all I see is news about Deadpool getting a sequel, and pictures of Harley Quinn giving tattoos to someone.  I know these news pieces are viewed a lot, but I still say that no one cares in the end.  Being constantly flooded with information takes away the intrigue about a movie, which hurts the viewing experience.  Let’s take my theory for a spin, shall we?

Alright, the year is 2014 and you’ve just seen “leaked” footage of your favorite actor inside an outfit that reminds you of a famous superhero, which is, holy cow—The Punisher!  It gets better—you’re going to get a direct sequel to Dolph Lungdren’s Punisher and it will feature Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Scarlett Johannsen.

03 04 05

You know, I might actually pay money to go see this.

The next day, you find out who is playing all these characters.  We have Tony Jaa playing costumed Spiderman, Thomas Jane reprising his role as Punisher, and that new guy who’s playing Daredevil.  Then, they give us the villain of all villains – Kingpin, played by none other than Sammo Hung (if you have to look him up shame on you).  And the whole world says “Wow, a culturally diverse movie in 2016!  This is the new style of superhero movies!  YEAH!”

By now you’re on the edge of your seat, wondering, “When is the trai…” But, don’t wonder for too long because, “The trailer has just been leaked a day before schedule!  Man, do I feel like a winner!”  So you watch the trailer. You think it’s amazing, and then you hear nothing for a month.  You are wondering, “When the hell am I going to see the movie everyone deserves?”  Then, the studio releases another short segment, and a release date!

06

By then you are making your terrible memes about the movie (just like I did) and are so excited.  Then the day comes!  You get into line three hours before the movie starts because everyone does it.  You sit down and, at the moment of truth (when the movie starts) you blurt out “What the hell is this piece of crap?”

07 08

This is the movie you got.                                            This is the movie you’ve been waiting for.

And you know what?  The movie wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for those leaked trailers, news feeds every day, talking about the movie every day, and just out right thinking it was going to be the best thing you’ve seen (talking to you Richie Watkins—being excited for The Dark Knight Rises cost you 18 months of your life).  So please, never get too excited, or you will hate a movie that might actually be good.  One love!

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