Midweek Mouth-off: Sick and tired of overhype?

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Today’s topic of discussion: Is there such a thing as too much media coverage for a movie before release?

Is it possible to overhype a movie in advance, to the point that we’re sick of it… weeks or months before it even hits cinemas? Or are all the exclusive “reveals”, behind the scenes paparazzi pics and related online discussions part of the fun, building excitement for the film’s debut? Are we guilty of fueling the gluttonous marketing process? And if we are, do we feel bad about it?

For the record, we see this kind of fan frenzy all the time with superhero, fantasy and other geeky flicks. A current case in point is The Dark Knight Rises, where we’ve snuffled for spoilers, gazed at every unofficial photo snapped on set, and discussed everything from plot rumours to costumes; from Bane’s voice to the very name of the film. Is it all too much? Can all this spoil your viewing experience? Is it better to go into the cinema knowing little to nothing?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: February 8, 2012

Noelle Adams

Sometime Tomb Raider. Full-time Pop Culture fanatic and Geekaissance Woman. Most often spotted outputting Pop Culture opinion pieces, writing fanfic and original genre fare, cosplaying and bringing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu smackdown. Editor of the Comics and Toys section.

  • I think it’s still your choice to read all of them. If you buy into the hype, then the onus is on you not to get overwhelmed or set your expectations to high.

    A lot of the Dark Knight Rises photos and stuff is unofficial hype so you can’t fault the studio. Do you want to know everything? Then go ahead but I don’t want any spoilers at all (I didn’t even know Two Face was going to be in The Dark Knight).

  • I personally prefer to go in not knowing anything about a movie and being pleasantly surprised rather than knowing everything and then feeling like the movie was just all the early reveals with a bit of added padding around the side.

    But then again I’m a complete sucker for trailers and can’t stop watching them, so maybe movies should have just more content and not reveal too much to early.

    • When it comes to trailers, I tend to watch the first 1 or 2 and then avoid the rest until the film’s release. This is due to the problem I have that lately they just show you way too much.

      This trend of trailers showing off the entire film’s highlights came about as a result of insecure filmmakers thinking that audiences wouldn’t take a chance on their films, unless the audience had upfront assurance that the film was 100% what they wanted to see.Problem is, if I’ve already seen the reader’s digest version of your film, then why see it again?This trend is especially prevalent in Romantic Comedies, which is hugely ironic, because if there was one genre that tended to always follow conventions and in which you could predict with great certainty what was going to happen in a film, then it was Rom-Coms.

      The rest of Hollywood should learn from JJ Abrams how to make a trailer though. He always manages to get you chomping at the bit to go see his movies, without you having a single clue as to what you’re actually going to see. 

  • In terms of hyping it, I  think it’s the viewing public that is as much to blame as the media for that.

    I do think that way too much is given away though. I miss going into a movie not knowing what the hell to expect. Today (especially due to trailers) you know Acts 1, 2, and 3 before you’ve even seen the film and that’s with regard to specific details as well as the formulaic story.

    But it’s also up to whoever’s marketing to judge what’s needed. Overhyping can make it so that your target audience has the film so shoved in their faces that they’re tired of the movie before even having seen it. Which is the opposite of what you want.This applies to trailers as much as anything else, but the basic intent is  to feed enough that people will have their interest perked. Too little and you risk the audience being indifferent; too much and your risk them being jaded.It’s finding the balance that you really want to do.

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