Incessant Hype Changes How We Watch Movies

We're more interested in next year's films than current ones: Darren Franich
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2011 12:58 PM CDT
Incessant Hype Changes How We Watch Movies
In this file film publicity image released by Disney, Johnny Depp portrays Captain Jack Sparrow in a scene from "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."   (AP Photo/Disney, Peter Mountain, File)

Feeling a little underwhelmed by the summer movie season? Darren Franich at Entertainment Weekly has a theory. "It’s not that the movies are necessarily worse than they were 10 years ago," he writes. "It’s just that very few of the movies were even half as interesting as the chatter that led up to their release." And it speaks to a larger point: In an age of constant leaks about "pre-release minutiae" and way-early trailers, the culture of movie-watching has changed, he argues.

Recall that ET was still playing in theaters and generating conversations a full year after it opened in 1982. Those days are gone. Now, "we talk about movies for a full year in advance; then, we finally see the movie, and the conversation essentially stops." Consider that when Franich went to see Captain America, the biggest reaction from fans came when the teaser for Avengers came on. "It was, I think, an uncannily perfect freeze-frame portrait of the nature of modern movie fandom: Forever forward-looking, forever debating movies that we haven’t even seen yet." Dorothy Pomerantz at Forbes thinks this over-hyping helps explain falling ticket sales. (Read more Hollywood stories.)

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