Friday, August 20, 2004

The geek games: Toronto's Globe and Mail looks at Hollywood's courtship of the geek market, perhaps best illustrated by the enormous film presence at Comic-Con International:

"Hollywood has long been called 'high school with money,' and it's hilarious that these days, the cool kids are so actively courting the nerds -- the Pradas wooing the Pocket Protectors. The powers that be thank geeks for the $2.9-billion (U.S.) earned worldwide by The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and for Spider-Man 2's $650-million gross, not to mention I, Robot's $150-million so far, The Day After Tomorrow's $535-million, Van Helsing's $269-million, and even the $700-plus-million brought in by both Shrek 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They also credit geeks with starting Internet buzz, streaming to opening weekends, and shelling out for movie merchandise.

"And, perhaps most importantly, they pin the failure of hyper-hyped films like Catwoman and King Arthur on negative Internet buzz. Contributors to Catwoman websites, for example, dissed the kitty costume and script long before critics, and eventually audiences, did. The reaction on King Arthur websites -- a big yawn -- was also echoed in its sleepy grosses."