Too Much, Too Soon - Is Over-Marketing Killing the Movies?

Other | Tuesday 26th June 2012 | Osh

You can watch The Amazing Spider-Man online now - well, sort of.

The Amazing Spider-Man is the latest victim of having way too much of its footage being readily available. A 25-minute long cut of the movie has surfaced online, where the material is culled from trailers and TV spots, culminating in a miniature version of the movie which is released July 3rd - sure, there's roughly 110 minutes of the rest of the film missing, but the fact is that we have a serious problem of oversaturation on our hands. 

A trailer works fine as a tone-setter and plot-giver for a new flick, and it should remain as just that - a snapshot available for you to decide, for yourself, whether you'll want to go see it. So after watching the 25 minutes that's freely available to us around the web - and of course in this wryly edited montage - why would be bothered to watch the remaing three quarters? But The Amazing Spider-Man isn't the only recent movie to have suffered a similar fate. Prometheus was subject to a horrific number of tell-all marketing ploys - its first trailer proper showed what were to be actual key moments in the movie from the climax. Why include these massive spoilers? While the film itself turned out to be frustratingly enigmatic, a little more mystery would've been appreciated.

So what does this mean for the future of blockbusters? Do we get to see the entire end product before its release date, thanks to overzealous marketing teams, or will we get to anticipate a movie in the dark? Trailers need to exist; if they didn't, no one would come see the movie. And therein lies the central problem. However, a spearheading example of how to do it right are the trailers and TV spots for The Dark Knight Rises - one of the other most anticipated movies of the year, and only the barest details of the plot have been revealed through its intelligent, respectful marketing. It's just a shame, then, that you can watch The Amazing Spider-Man as a 25-minute cut online, thanks to the studio themselves (which you can watch here, if you really can't wait until July 3rd).

- Gary Green