SiCKO: Any News Is Good News?

Hollywood finance expert muses: Any News is Good News?


    I noticed this week massive news coverage of the fact that Michael Moore's new film Sicko was apparently pirated, weeks prior to its scheduled release, on the piratebay, youtube, and various other internet sites. This got me thinking.
    Hmmmm, it cost tens of millions in advertising to cut through the clutter of this summer's massive sequels marketing campaign, and in the spirit of "any news is good news", what if someone close to the film, say a distributor or film maker, decided that by leaking the film to the internet, this would create a media news frenzy, at no cost to the distributors or filmmakers, that might actually grow the awareness of the film and spike its box office grosses upon release.
    This box office revenue growth would create a chain reaction that would help make the film more profitable, despite the fact that pirated copies appear a few weeks earlier than usual on the internet. This is utter speculation; however it could be a form of guerilla marketing that is very much in the spirit of The Blair Witch Project back in the day. And Harvey Weinstein is a master at marketing.
Author David A. Davis is a Managing Director in the Los Angeles office of FMV Opinions, Inc. and he also heads the firm’s Entertainment & Media practice.  A recognized leader in this industry, Mr. Davis has testified as an expert witness in numerous legal disputes and has served as a consultant to attorneys during litigation.  His prominence in the industry has awarded him citations in publications and electronic media around the world.
Prior to joining FMV Opinions, Mr. Davis operated his own advisory practice, David Davis, Inc. out of Santa Monica, CA for three years.  Before that, Mr. Davis was a Senior Vice President at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin for nearly 10 years.  While there, he managed the financial advisory practice for media and entertainment clients.  Mr. Davis’ work included advising NBC in their acquisition of Universal, Sony in their acquisition of MGM, and Disney in their litigation with Jeffrey Katzenberg.   
Mr. Davis received a Masters in Business Administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA in 1989, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1981, and graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1977.  Mr. Davis is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a member of the Alumni Advisory Board to the Entertainment Management Program at The Anderson School at UCLA.