As you all know by now, SNAKES ON A PLANE, the internet driven movie phenomenon which saw Samuel L. Jackson intoning “M—–f—in’ snakes on a m—–f—in’ plane!” everywhere nerd hipsters congregate, was a first place flop — a mere $15 mil in BO, and that contested, being padded by every available preview penny.
Now let’s get one thing straight. You’ll find very, very few mentions of SNAKES ON A PLANE, or SoaP as it is known, on this here blog. We are not primarily a movie blog, to begin with, and even more bluntly, we live in a world of m—–f—in’ COMIC BOOKS, DUDE! SNAKES ON A PLANE! TEENAGE MUTAnT NINJA TURTLE! TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN! THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT!…Wait that was a movie…but anyway, as a comics nerd, we’re pretty much hardened to that sense of ironic fun and post-modern histrionics that SoaP seemed to be speaking to in the blogosphere — heck, when we’re in the mood for ironic silliness, we just create our own!
This is, however, a pretty colossal failure of Hollywood’s continued wooing of the Internerd. Bloggers seized on this movie as if it were their own invention, becoming cozy marketing partners with the guy who was in PULP FICTION.
As I approached the theater–red carpet unfurled, screaming crowd penned across Hollywood Blvd.–I was brought to a halt by one plaintive cry from the ticketholders line. “I’m the number one “Snakes” blogger! You want to interview me!” a young vaguely gothish woman calls. Taking the bait, I turn to meet Reba Mac, a 22-year-old from Rialto, who has been “Snakes”-blogging on her MySpace page (myspace.com/reebster). “This is my dream come true,” she gushes at a disconcertingly high volume. “This is my fairy tale.”
Reba tells me about the freelance promotional work she has undertaken on “Snakes’ ” behalf. In addition to blogging on her MySpace page, she has turned her place of employment–her local Olive Garden restaurant where she is a server–into a mini-Snakes press center. “I’d be at work,” she says, “Serving the tables and I’d just stand there and talk about this movie. When people paid, I’d come back and say, ‘Don’t forget to see Snakes.'”
Snakes on a Blog is perhaps the epicenter of SoaP-ocity, and the blogger there has an even more breathless account of the premiere posted today, when most blogs, like Defamer, were conducting a chilling autopsy of the shocking flop.
I spent the last eight months of my life blogging about a film called Snakes on a Plane. I started my blog on a lark, hoping to get myself invited to the Hollywood premiere. I spent the eight months building towards the day I would walk down the red carpet in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and pass through the big doors into the premiere. The free popcorn once I got inside was, admittedly, an afterthought.
From this you can see the appeal of SoaP to the average nerdy movie blogger — for once, a guy in a Target shirt and Gap pants had a chance to go to a big movie premiere, not just as an outsider, but an INSIDER. No wonder bloggers embraced this film to their collective bosom, like Cleopatra and her asp.
It’s too early to see if SoaP’s failure will cool the hot and heavy romance between the studios and viral internet marketing. If the idea that playing to the ‘net is a losing game actually catches on, it could eventually effect San Diego, for instance.
In fact, New Line may have made brilliant use of citizen blogges, but they also made some very dumbass mistakes, like not screening the movie for critics, who were generally FAVORABLE. Word of mouth was also strong, so they should probably have done more sneak peeks to NON internet users.
In the end, it proves something we’ve been saying for a while: The internet is NOT real life. You must market to the real world too. Sure there’s a nice little world in a bottle that we all like playing in, but as much as it pains us to admit it, not everyone reads blogs all day. There’s a lesson for everyone in New Line’s mistake.