In advance of its release last week, Disaster Movie was slammed for the insensitivy of its release date -- on the third anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters in history. (Hurricane Gustav narrowly avoided adding injury to insult.) Probably for a variety of reasons, audiences stayed away in droves, as Eugene noted. Now Bangkok Dangerous, the only wide release scheduled for this week, finds itself overtaken by current events. What else do the two apparent stinkers have in common? Lionsgate, their US distributor.
Lionsgate must pride itself on its highly-targeted slate being critic-proof, since it maximizes profits by skipping most advance screenings for critics and relying entirely on a blitkreig of advertising to fill theaters on opening weekend before word of mouth can spread. In fact, they informed publications some time ago that no advance press screenings for Bangkok Dangerous would be held. As Josh Tyler of Cinema Blend commented when reporting on the notice: "Not screened for the press almost always means the movie is so bad even the people who made it know the film is awful."
Cinematical will post a review later this week, after it opens. But advance word -- and current events -- make the movie sound like another disaster for Lionsgate.