Fanboys throughout the Tubes have been slavishly following every release of teaser trailers/teaser posters/actual posters/action figures/behind the scenes puff pieces/fanboy art/production design leaks/supplemental features, etc.
This drip, drip, drip, release of material is, of course, designed to put the fanboy into such a state of excitement about the film that all critical faculties are bypassed – the fanboy invests himself psychology so fully and totally in the product, (by having his imagination fill in this gaps, i.e. dreaming, as one has not seen the actual film), that the actual quality of the film is moot.
With this in mind I ask is it necessary to release the film?
And, in fact, why actually make the picture at all? Far cheaper to release behind the scenes material, early drafts of a script and teaser trailers then produce a real movie. The money spent on this faux material would easily be recouped many times over by licensing deals: Happy Meals, video games etc.
As for the Watchmen picture itself – I suggest that the distribution company, Warner Brothers, use it as a testbed for the ‘non-release’ concept:
Warner, don’t release the film, and in fact, destroy the ‘negative’, (in all forms that it exists: film, digital files etc.).
You’ll still make money on the project; the film can never be poorly reviewed, or disappoint fans and the psychic absence of the film in the mind of the fanboy will keep the film more alive to them, and keep the cash rolling in longer than the actual movie would. This successful test will give you the template you need for future non-releases.
Just an idea.
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UPDATE: Our 40 minute podcast analysis on the failure of ‘Watchmen’ is now online.
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(Photos, from top to bottom, adapted from: ‘The Watchmen’ by locusolus, ‘Watchmen movie poster’ by comiquero, ‘Watchmen billboard’ by robjtak, ‘Watchmen in Chalk – Saturday Morning’ by edwick, ‘Watchmen in PlayStation Home’ by marceatsworld,and ‘watchmen again’ by jaygooby)