Here are three easy ways to piss off a movie critic: 1) Search his bag or pat him down, because there is no warmer feeling to start a two-hour relationship with than, "I accuse you!"; 2) Don't let him bring his own food in to a screening, and ignore his sensible cries of, "If I ate nothing but the food you serve here all day, I'd die."; and, 3) Tell him that he can't see your movie in time to make his deadline.

According to a story in the New York Post, less than two months in, 2006 already tops 2005 for major studio films that have not screened for the press. The Post's Lou Lumenick quoted Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions Gate (whose Friday release Madea's Family Reunion did not screen for the press), as saying, "We are not going to spend $50,000 for the privilege of negative reviews for a film that isn't going to be affected by them."

I'd venture to say that when a studio announces ahead of time that its movie is not going to screen for the press - like Sony did with last week's #2 movie (heh heh) Date Movie - that it hurts more than it helps, as it creates a backlash and in many cases, a shortfall at the box office. Like it or not, people listen to critics for guidance as to how to spend their hard-earned dollars. People form relationships with particular critics, using them as metersticks for their own tastes and sensibilities, even when there is disagreement. Is there really any such thing as "critic proof", and aren't audiences the biggest critic of all?

I have an idea as to how the studios can make this entire discussion moot in the future - STOP MAKING SHITTY MOVIES!
categories Movies, Cinematical