[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

AD: Fans, Friends & Followers

Friday, April 21, 2006

Is vox populi becoming more important than the opinions of movie critics?

This Forbes column observes that "11 movies so far this year haven't been shown to critics--up from two in the same period last year."

Does that mean that digital word-of-mouth, and online reviews written by fans, are gaining in influence?

Marc Babej and Tim Pollak write:

    ...There are millions of consumer-generated Web sites and blogs on just about every topic, including every movie genre, sub-genre and sub-sub-genre. Many of these sites are particularly effective at generating word of mouth among die-hard fans on just about every topic. For movie studios, fan outreach represents a golden opportunity. As it happens, many of the mainstream critics' least favorite genres, such as horror or sci-fi, have fan bases that use the Internet heavily and accept the opinion of a passionate amateur over that of a critic any day. It won’t be long until the next big horror release is pre-screened to top horror bloggers, while professional critics are left out in the cold.

`Silent Hill,' opening this weekend, wasn't screened for critics.


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