From The Hollywood Reporter: "It might be that the R-rated [Snakes on a Plane] suffers from the same problem as the 1990 Buena Vista film Arachnophobia, which underperformed at the boxoffice because no one wanted to see a film about spiders. Snakes might sound great on paper, but in the theater they could be a bit too scary for even the most hardened horror fan."
Gee, maybe this also explains why Eight-Legged Freaks emptied out theaters quicker than someone yelling "Fire!"
Or maybe it didn't sound scary *enough* to the hardcore horror audience. To me, "Snakes on a Plane" sounded like a film that would be campy, crazy, sorta-scary fun, which I found appealing. The whole concept didn't really sound like it would be too frightening or I wouldn't have seen it...I generally avoid films that seem as though they will be too scary (The Ring) or too gory (Saw). So was SoaP it too scary...or not scary enough?
I wonder to what extent the decision not to screen SoaP for the media affected its weekend performance. Yes, yes, I know, I know, I know ... these movies are supposed to be critic-proof. But I think this film may have been an exception to that general rule due to its unprecedented amount of buzz. That buzz included a lot of awareness for weeks before the release date that the studio intended to hide the movie from critics. As a result, an atypical percentage of the audience was handed weeks before the release date a solid, buzzing reason to conclude that SoaP must suck.
Which would be supremely ironic given the surprisingly positive reviews SoaP ended up getting.
I wonder what the response would have been if they'd started running ads quoting a critic saying: "Hey! It doesn't suck!"
I wonder if they might yet change the ads to incorporate some praise from reviewers. It will be interesting to see if that happens.
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