The dissappointing showing of SNAKES ON A PLANE continues to haunt Hollywood, and the Internet may not be our friend any more. Someone sent us this link to THR’s Martin Grovevery long and thorough analysis of why the film floundered, as opposed to, say THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT which also had a viral internet marketing campaign:
Why did the Internet work magic for “Witch” and leave “Snakes” writhing in the aisles? “Because there wasn’t a negative on ‘Blair Witch,'” he pointed out. “The tracking showed a huge negative (feeling about ‘Snakes’). It looked like a silly picture that people didn’t want to see. ‘Blair Witch’ never looked like a silly picture. ‘Blair Witch’ never had a high negative.”
Coming back to the damage done by making “Snakes” R-rated, he observed, “If you go out with a picture like this and you put an R rating on it and the biggest audience is teenage boys and you’re shutting them out in two-thirds of the country, you get what you deserve. It was a gross mistake. The director and Sam Jackson talked them into it. And they went heavy on the (very rough) dialogue and some scenes, which you could do without. I mean, you could approach the scene without showing the conclusion and that’s the way you get a PG-13. There’s no need for it. It’s over the top. It defies all the laws of marketing. You have to know who the audience for that (film) is.”
Now you may be wondering why The Beat is haunted by SNAKES ON A PLANE, a movie we never even planned on going to see. We’re a little bit fascinated by the cautionary tale of marketers who decided that giving a few vocal people on the internet what they wanted would be giving EVERYONE what they wanted. It was internet “buzz” that made New Line go back for reshoots which made the film more violent and more profane and moved it into R rated territory. It just proves — giving fans what they want doesn’t always make them happy.