Update: After a conversation with sources at the studio, Cinematical has learned that Lou Lumenick's original post is no longer accurate. Ghost Rider is screening for critics tonight in Los Angeles, and will continue screening until its release date. Whether this turnaround came in response to the recent media flurry, we do not know, but we apologize for passing on any bad gossip.

There was a rather alarming item in Lou Lumenick's Post blog on Tuesday, alleging that Sony Pictures is going to do without opening-day print reviews for their upcoming guy-with-skull-on-fire comic book movie, Ghost Rider. If this is true, it sets a completely new precedent. Despite the questionable quality of the source material, the film itself is not a low-rent affair by any stretch of the imagination. Unlike most of the horror movies that studios don't dare foist on critics these days, it's a $120 million action film from a popular comic franchise, boasting bankable stars like Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. Lumenick notes that if these rumblings are true, then Ghost Rider would perhaps become the most expensive film project ever to be hidden from critics in this manner.

Again -- if it's true. Cinematical contacted two Sony reps this morning for comment -- we received no reply.So if it is true, then what's next? No reviews for Spiderman 3? Lumenick added the following off-the-cuff observation in his blog post: "The marketers at Sony are probably wondering if "The Da Vinci Code" -- the No.5 grossing film of 2006 in the U.S. -- would have been an even bigger smash if it hadn't received scathing advance reviews," which is probably a valid point. It seems like it's increasingly S.O.P. for studios to sit down and look at the movie they end up with, and then decide whether or not it will get a pan from critics, and then act accordingly. Cinematical recently received an invitation to screen the upcoming film from the ludicrous Tyler Perry -- the day the film opens, and not a minute before.

Via [Latino Review]