Maybe Movie Going Audiences Don’t Want To See “The Hurt Locker” Because It Has To Deal With IraqAugust 18, 2009 at 9:28 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment
Just saying, Mr. Ebert. I can only speak for myself, but at this moment in time, I have no interest in a movie that is supposed to “entertain” me that takes place in Iraq.
The obvious implication is, younger moviegoers don’t care about reviews and have missed the news that “The Hurt Locker” is the best American film of the summer. There is a more disturbing implication: word of mouth is not helping the film in that younger demographic. It has been Hollywood gospel for decades that advertising and marketing can help a film to open strongly, but moviegoers talking with each other are crucial to its continuing success. That has been Summit Entertainment’s game plan for “The Hurt Locker,” which opened in a few theaters and has steadily increased its cities, becoming a real success without ever “winning” a weekend or benefiting from an overkill marketing campaign.
Certainly most of those who see “The Hurt Locker” become enthusiastic advocates of the film; but apparently those younger viewers who have seen it haven’t had much of an influence on their peers. While the success of the film continues to grow as it steadily increases its number of theaters, the majority of younger filmgoers are missing this boat. Why is that? They don’t care about reviews, perhaps. They also resist a choice that is not in step with their peer group. Having joined the crowd at “Transformers,” they’re making their plans to see “G. I. Joe.” Some may have heard about “The Hurt Locker,” but simply lack the nerve to suggest a movie choice that involves a departure from groupthink.