Finally, finally the studios' attitude is coming back to bite them. Snakes on a Plane is in the midst of flopping; it had a major drop-off in just its second week. I'm convinced that, if New Line had screened it for the press, they would have staved off the bad rumors and earned enough good reviews to boost business. Instead they blamed their own ignorance on the press, as has been the trend this year.
As of now, something like 25 movies have been purposely withheld from critics. Renny Harlin's The Covenant is the latest to join the hall of shame. What is perhaps more distressing than the studios' attitude toward reviewing press is their attitude toward the films themselves. Regardless of the press, it's the studios who have determined that these films stink. These are the same films they have paid for and hired artists to make, in some cases talented people like Neil LaBute and Nicolas Cage (The Wicker Man). It's like they've made a bad batch of widgets, and instead of throwing them away and starting over, they're foisting the tainted product on the public with no warning from critics. They hope that the gullible, dim-witted ticket buyers will help them make back a significant amount of their investment before word of mouth gets out. It's a new wave of disposable movies.