Sunday, 11 July 2010

Predators – A Few Less Than Expected?

20th Century Fox altered a key shot from the trailer for the newly released Predators to promise consumers a lot more than they’ll get.

Movie-goers may be a little disappointed when walking out of theatres this weekend. Like me you were probably expecting to see a few more Predators then actually make an appearance, especially after this certain shot from the trailer.

Were 20th Century Fox worried that a film named Predators needed to have or least should be perceived to have a high number of Predators in it? Therefore they added a few more (and by few, I mean 14) extra laser sights on Adrian Brody’s body to increase fan boy anticipation and hysteria for the new release.

Now trailers often include scenes that don’t end up being in the final film due to them being cut in the post-production process, but it’s rare for companies to add or manipulate shots to promise viewers something they’re not actually going to get at all.

When I paid my money I was expecting to see a lot more Predators and I doubt I’m the only one. This shot has been heavily used in the trailers and close to pretty much all the TV spots. It’s been a large part of the marketing push for the film.

Is this essentially false advertising and if so, should it be allowed? The movie business is one of the few industries where people pay upfront for a service/product before they have seen it. They can’t come out of a screening and ask for their money back if they didn’t enjoy the film. They base pretty much all of their decision-making-process on what they’ve seen in trailers, therefore trailers need to be as honest as possible.

Trailers are designed to sell films, and with some good editing a trailer can make any turkey of a film look like an Oscar contender but intentionally misleading consumers by adding content isn’t going to make them happy.

It won’t benefit the profitability of the film either. You may get a big opening weekend, but when word of mouth spreads that viewers aren’t getting what they’ve been promised the longevity of the film is going to be drastically shortened too.

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