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August 21st, 2006  |  Published in old and busted

[‘Snakes on a Plane’ fails to charm moviegoers


“Snakes on a Plane,” a camp thriller that generated an unprecedented tsunami of online hysteria during the past year, crawled into the No. 1 slot at the North American weekend box office with estimated ticket sales of just $15.3 million, its distributor said on Sunday.

Worse, the outlets that are trying to spin it as a big win are comparing it to the 2-week-old comedy it knocked out of number 1.

I’d say “there’s a blow to the model,” but it’s not because studios are working as hard as they can to dismantle the influence movie reviewers have over opening weekend receipts, and they’re not going to let disappointing results from their efforts to save a real turd stop them.

An analyst looking at “Snakes” says “This tells you that you need to have a compelling story or premise to get an audience for your movie,” which hints at a future of movies like “The Island” and “Con Air,” which are high on premise, but made even more shoddily in anticipation of needing to only pack the rubes in for that precious first 72 hours, after which they’ll become as disposable as last month’s Will Ferrell comedy.

On the upside for bloggers and other useful idiots of the shill machine: Expect a bumper crop of studio-supplied clip art for the parody sites you erect hoping to rake in a few pennies of AdSense revenue when Digg goes bananas over your “Turd on a Rocket” Flash game.

Oh … and “long tail! long tail!” when eight special editions of “Snakes” arrive at your local Best Buy a hair earlier than the normal cycle would predict.

Oh … and get an early start on your parody site with suggestions from Nerdmeyr.

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