Monday, November 5, 2007
Go Big Or Go Home
The problem with coming out with a blockbuster movie your first time around is simply that audiences will expect that every time there after. This is the big problem facing director M. Night Shyamalan, most famously known for his 1999 hit The Sixth Sense.
Since The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan's movies have seem to be going continuously downhill according to how much the gross at the theaters. The underlying question that seems to rear its ugly head is that is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Many people would argue that his films haven't really changed that much, which are a big part to the downfall. The best part of The Sixth Sense was the huge twist at the end that left audiences dumbfounded as to how they did not notice that before. Now, as Shyamalan's movies are released, audiences go to the movies and expect the twist and look for it, which in turn make them anger when they either figure them out or there isn't one at all.
Personally I always enjoy Shyamalan's movie. I find them to be interesting and always take a route that you wouldn't expect. Audiences disliked movies such as The Village or Lady in the Water mostly because they did not follow the common trends Shyamalan placed in his previous films. Shyamalan expressed this in an interview were he proclaimed he felt that marketing actually took away from those films because they were not supposed to look like supernatural thrillers, but instead stories of hope.
Hopefully audiences have gotten that out of their system seeing as how Shyamalan's newest movie does not seem to dig into the supernatural world at all. The Happening, starring Mark Wahlberg, seems to be Shyamalans interpretation on An Inconvenient Truth. The world is ravaged and plants start creating a poison in the air that kills humans. Wahlberg, a local biology teacher, takes his family on the run from these deadly toxins while in the mean time trying to patch up his marriage (seems like at the end of the world his wife shouldn't start getting so picky).
It will be interesting to see how the studios begin to market the movie as its release date grows nearer, especially since the originally version of the script wasn't picked up by any studios Shyamalan's first time around.
So far not even a teaser trailer or movie poster has been released for the movie, which makes me believe the studio is either not impressed with his final product, or trying to create a nice little WOM hype throughout the internet. Shayamalan's films are most commonly related to his cult following so I believe that the studio feels that people who should know about the film, do. The only marketing tactic so far is the release date, set for June 13th 2008, which falls on Friday the 13th. Personally I think the studios better do a little better than that with their marketing campaign, and soon, before the Shaymalan's cult train leaves the station.