New Line Cinemas has gone from a position any studio would love to be in, to being on the verge of one that every studio dreads....


And they've done so in about a month's time.
Just a few weeks ago, Snakes on a Plane, the August release from New Line starring Samuel Jackson (and co-starring the most refreshingly honest movie title in years), was the media darling, the 'sleeper' hit of the summer movie season. Enormous buzz for the movie had spilled over from the Internet, and finally the mainstream media had noticed. Of course, looking back, that may have been the worst thing possible for this film's promotion.
Let it be said, I give New Line a ton and a half of credit for how they have promoted Snakes on a Plane. Basically, New Line realized early on that the community on the Internet was doing a better job of promoting SoaP than the studio could, so New Line went out of their way to encourage the activities. (New Line even went back and re-shot some scenes from SoaP to incorporate dialog that fans had written into trailers they had created for the film.) At a time when the community had more tools than ever to generate their own content, New Line made the brilliant move of letting the fans have the keys to the candystore, and set them loose.
But the key concern all along was that perhaps this was a case of buzz-building too soon for a movie that was still 5-6 months away from release. As the Alexa traffic for Snakes on a Blog, the 'unofficial' fan site for the film suggests here, the buzz for the B-movie appears to be fading. My hope is that the buzz will grow as we get closer to the movie's August release, because I REALLY want to see New Line's embracing of the community be rewarded, but I fear that won't be the case.
As New Line is learning the hard way, perhaps the only thing harder than building buzz for a movie, could be sustaining it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier