The Washington Post's Paul Farhi has a perceptive assessment of the lukewarm box office reception for "Snakes on a Plane." Two of the people he spoke to made especially important points:
(1) In the words of a studio spokesman, "you can never be sure that the people who are Googling your movie are going to go out and see it."
(2) "New Line might have erred in marketing the movie, too, by withholding the film from critics before its release, says Douglas Gomery, a film and mass-media scholar. That not only signals that a bomb is afoot but also killed whatever momentum the movie might have built up, says Gomery, who notes: 'They had the ball rolling, and then it came to a dead stop.'"
Most of the critics liked the movie. If reviews had been out before it opened, it might have brought in audiences beyond the hard-core junkies who made a big fuss online. A good thought to keep in mind in a week in which none of the nationwide releases is screening in time for reviews.
Oh, and this just in: there's a new porn film called "Trouser Snakes on a Plane." I'm going to try not to think about that one too hard.