Who’s in the mood for a conspiracy theory?
Not one involving weighty matters like why it took an earthquake for people to care about the western hemisphere’s poorest nation or how NBC’s ratings are going sky high with a brouhaha between two comedians no one was watching a week earlier.
This conspiracy involves why critics are drooling over the box office behemoth Avatar.
Why is it the same critics who trashed GI Joe and Transformers 2 completely reconstituted their rules for what makes a good movie when Avatar came out? Did the 3-D rob them of their senses?
Get ready, because I’m going to propose a controversial and completely irresponsible theory.
The newspaper industry is dying. Subscribers have been way down because they can receive the same information for free on the internet. But what’s hurting newspapers worse is the slow down in advertising. One of the few streams that hasn’t run dry is supplied by the movie studios. Two page advertisements showing quotes from newspaper critics are printed next to an article with the same critic’s byline.
Is it that far flung to believe Fox which had already spent 300 million on Avatar wouldn’t spend 300,000 more to ensure good publicity? Wouldn’t a top notch review encourage them to step up their advertising commitments?
I consider myself to have integrity, but if a representative of Fox dropped a suitcase with 25,000 in it I would most probably take down my Jar Jar Binks: The Movie posting and replace it with How Avatar Helped Me Beat Cancer and spend the next few weeks reviewing the topless beaches of Spain (Fox representatives, we can make this happen).
Maybe I’m being cynical and all the holiday egg nog robbed the critics collectively of their senses. But shouldn’t the newspaper industry which at one point prided itself on a lack oF bias be more careful with the seeming conflict of interests between the movie reviews and the movie advertisements? Perhaps they could constitute a rule that they will not run an ad that has a quote from one of their critics.
Or they could just stay true to one of their few steady sources of revenue.