Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 21, 2021

Having just arrived back to Tampa Bay last night, I’ve pretty well hit the ground running in trying to catch up at work. So I really have zero time to recount my visit to New York, much as I’d like to (aside from the couple of on-the-road posts I’ve already published). It’s just going to have to wait for a calmer period; maybe this weekend.

I suppose I have just barely enough time to jot a couple of items:

- I managed to charm my way to two free cocktails — one aboard the Song flight back down. I amaze even myself sometimes.

- I almost got to watch my in-flight pay-per-view movie, Stop Making Sense, for free too. Apparently, the flight attendents have some kind of free-pass magnetic cards. But I decided not to push it. (I’ve mentioned before how much I love Song’s in-seat entertainment monitors.)

- I realize that celebrity sightings in Manhattan are pretty commonplace. Still, Kristin Davis in Tribeca — wow.

- I think my brother gives fairly lousy public transportation directions. On the way in, he tells me to take a bus that deposits me several blocks from his place; and when I get there, I notice a bus stop for another route that would have dropped me off practically in front of his building! On the way out, he tells me to take the A train to the airport, but after a couple of transfers; when it turns out the E train took me to JFK at a speed I wouldn’t have thought was possible.

- I think I managed to revisit with practically every single cousin — and their offspring — I have on Saturday night. As usual, it was a dizzying experience.

- Miracle of miracles: For the first time in forever, I wasn’t virtually raped during my departing or return flights. And just when I was getting used to it!

- It was a nice experience to deal with cabbies who actually knew how to get around town — a marked contrast from their brethren in the Tampa Bay area.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/21/2005 11:17pm
Category: New Yorkin'
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About a week ago, I pointed out how the energy industry will stick with the tried-and-true until the situation simply becomes untenable, in spite of plenty of advanced warning.

I wasn’t singling out the oil barons. Fact is, like most other human enterprises, and indeed human nature itself, the tendency is to focus on the expedient, especially when it does so well for you. Tomorrow’s problems can be dealt with tomorrow.

So it has been with the movie business. For all the flack the studios get for being slaves to focus-group feedback, most of the Hollywood mechanics function by seat-of-your-pants (il)logic. Ultimately, the big action star gets into a car chase, not because it’s deemed that the audience wants that, but because it’s (seemingly) worked so well in the past.

It has been a lucrative way to play. But now that a prolonged box office slump is suggesting itself to be a trend, Hollywood might be taking a serious look at the science of movie marketing for the very first time. A key starting point: An academic paper entitled “The Motion Picture Industry: Critical Issues in Practice, Current Research & New Research Directions”.

Some interesting tidbits to be gleaned:

Sequels with numbers in their title (Daredevil 2) may have a worse reception than sequels with new names (Daredevil: Taking It to the Street). It’s advantageous for actors to be typecast early in their careers. Dividing your studio into specialty units — “upscale action,” “urban fare,” and “thriller” — generally pays off, as your staff will gain genre expertise. The meta-paper’s larger projections are not exactly news, but they are depressing: “Studios Will Increasingly Pursue ‘Hit Franchises’ Based on Established Intellectual Properties in an Effort to Reduce Risks.” The cost of greenlighting a film has become so high that we should expect more safe bets: sequels, prequels, and Harry Potter adaptations. The studios will also continue to concentrate on big-budget productions, since one success can make for a profitable year. The blockbuster era is here to stay.

(Has Slate‘s Agger truly been wondering about the blockbuster’s durability? It’s been the “blockbuster era” for thirty years now, ever since Jaws and, for good measure, Star Wars; no shit that that formula is here to stay.)

The spotlight on word-of-mouth marketing, particularly in the form of online movie reviews, is interesting. I kind of wonder why blog-based amateur reviewers haven’t gained a bit more prominence, warranted or not. It seems like the appeal is there: A supposedly uninfluenced weigh-in on why a person (likely a film-geek) loves or hates a particular movie. Yet I’m not aware of any blogger who does this, and is considered a go-to source. It could be that, because tastes in this space are so subjective, it’s hard for any one blogger to gain widespread appeal. But it seems like the traditional source for such judgements — print and broadcast critics — are more prominent than ever. A puzzler.

(Via Tampa Film Fan)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/21/2005 10:43pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Movies
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