Hard-to-Market Films Hit Screens

   Oct. 2, 2008 – Hollywood has a bunch of “expensive, hard-to-market films” teed up for end-of-the-year release, and movie distributors can’t expect a helping hand from film critics, since they are a dying breed in the economic meltdown afflicting newspapers, notes Advertising Age.
   The newspaper TV critic casualties include Newsday’s John Anderson in suburban New York, Newsweek’s David Ansen, The Village Voice’s Nathan Lee, The New York Daily News’ Jami Bernard and Jack Mathews, the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Wilmington, The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Eleanor Ringel Gillespie and the San Diego Union Tribune’s David Elliott.
   “For Hollywood, the timing couldn’t be worse,” writes Ad Age journalist Claude Brodesser-akner in the article. Readers of these well-known critics trusted their judgment and would buy tickets for the hard-to-market films that they praised.
   This holiday season’s tough sells are the following: Columbia’s Seven Pounds starring Will Smith as a suicidal IRS agent, Miramax’s Doubt starring Meryl Streep as a nun who confronts sexual abuse in the clergy, Warner Bros.’s Gran Torino presenting Clint Eastwood as a disgruntled Korean War vet helping a troubled teen, Focus Features’ Milk starring Sean Penn as an openly gay city official who is assassinated, and Paramount’s $200 million fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt as man who ages in reverse from an old man to infant.
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