Over the weekend one of the Spring’s most anticipated film releases Sucker Punch debuted to less than stellar numbers. The film tells the story of a group of girls trapped in an insane asylum who use their imagination to escape from the pain of the real world. Sounds pretty intense and cool right? Wrong.
What is even more interesting is that reviews for the film were far worse than projected. Journalists weren’t allowed to see the film until the Wednesday before the film’s release making it much harder for reviews to get out in the appropriate time frame. Notable film critics from Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, and Variety called the movie, “the worst film ever made.” Now, I can easily tell you the name of the worst film ever made and it definitely wasn’t Sucker Punch, but I didn’t see it this weekend so my opinion doesn’t really count.
The bad reviews didn’t stop through the weekend. On Friday night the film was projected to beat another big release from the weekend, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, but box office numbers quickly turned around classifying Sucker Punch as a bona fide flop and Diary of a Wimpy Kid the clear winner for the weekend.
The film industry is a huge deal in Los Angeles. It is a multimillion dollar industry that the American public sometimes forgets even exists. Public relations agencies devote years to the release of one film making sure every appearance, magazine cover, interview, and image is perfect in an effort to get people into the theaters to make more money.
A piece of film public relations is in the hands of the film critic. Always unpredictable, the film critic doesn’t have to like your film to write something about it, and some of the best reviewers leave their opinions uncensored.
The popularity of Twitter and Facebook have proven film reviewers aren’t the only people who have buying power in the film industry. Now people ask their friends for opinions on what films to see over the weekend, but if no one is going to the movies, those discussions won’t happen.
I’m not sure where the film industry will go from here, but Entertainment Weekly, one of my favorite pop culture websites has an excellent article about the state of the film industry.