Sunday, January 18

Mr. Latte Tad Friend's article in last week's New Yorker confirms a lot of things that you might have already assumed about movie marketing from watching previews. Some choice quotes:
Older women like feel-good films and Nicholas Sparks-style weepies: they are the core audience for stories of doomed love and triumphs of the human spirit. They enjoy seeing an older woman having her pick of men; they hate seeing a child in danger. Particularly once they reach thirty, these women are the most "review-sensitive": a chorus of critical praise for a movie aimed at older women can increase the opening weekend's gross by five million dollars. In other words, older women are discriminating, which is why so few films are made for them.

"How many great movies are there each year?" the trailer cutter David Schneiderman says. "We're in the business of cheating, let's face it. We fix voice-overs, create dialogue to clear up a story, use stock footage. We give pushup bras to flat-chested girls, take people's eyes and put them where we want them. And sometimes it works."

"Basically, the code is this," a prominent agent says. " 'We will show you thirty pumped-up people, so you will go do the junket and go on "Letterman" and fucking perform with a sense of enthusiasm.' It's the same meeting we were having five years ago, except now there's a girl in a sweater who does the Internet."

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