Spotted in a post by Hugh MacLeod - an innovative (and, today, hardly surprising) approach to building buzz about a movie by getting bloggers to talk about it. In return, they get free tickets to the US preview.
The details are in an Instapundit post:
[...] The PR folks for the forthcoming Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, etc.) science fiction movie Serenity are inviting bloggers to advance screenings. [...] It's free, and all they ask is that you blog something, good or bad, about it. [...] They're full now (Friday p.m.) so if you haven't emailed 'em you've missed your chance. Apparently the blog-response was phenomenal.
Stimulating blogs to build word-of-mouth spread of opinion about a movie really is a smart idea. Low cost but very high return potential. Some risks, of course - negative commentary could be what people will write. That's likely if the movie is crap, in which case better get that fact out there early!
But if the people who blog think it's a terrific movie, then that's what they will write about. Others will see those posts and write about it as well (just as I'm doing). Pretty big opinion-spread potential in return for some preview tickets.
It's also interesting to see this as a shift in "authority reporting". Take a look at a resource like the Internet Movie Database. Go to any movie listing - Serenity, for instance. In the left-column menu, Serenity like most movies has a link to external reviews - what movie reviewers say, usually in mainstream media.
Logical next development - external reviews that include what bloggers say (and think of the potential for spoken opinions in podcasts, too). This looks like it's already beginning to happen as the Serenity review list includes a blog - The Movie Blog. But I'd also like to see reviews by 'normal folk,' movie buffs who also happen to blog (or podcast).
I know which type of review I'd more likely read (and listen to) today and be influenced by.