A new study by marketing professors concludes that
most critics passed on films that generally fell within the neutral range. But 13 of the 46 critics in the study showed a greater tendency to be silent about movies that their colleagues disliked. On the other hand, three critics -- Hazel-Dawn Dumpert of LA Weekly; Elvis Mitchell, formerly of The New York Times, and Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today -- seemed more likely to pass on films that won a "thumbs-up" from other reviewers.The authors say that next they will focus on which critics seem to have the greatest impact on box office. This study of "silence" is interesting in light of the astonishing number of "cold opens" this year, the number of movies that were not screened for critics in time for reviews before opening day.