News

'Zack's Porno' Courts Controversy

   Oct.27 update- Utah-based theater circuit Megaplex Theatres refused to book Zack and Miri Make A Porno because of its title, according to the New York Post.
By Robert Marich
   Oct. 18, 2008 -- Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who have a history of stoking controversies, enjoy a growing brouhaha over their Oct. 31 release Zack and Miri Make A Porno, whose ads are being refused by some media outlets.
   News reports say “Porno” in the title of the R-rated comedy prompted 15 newspapers, a bus shelter company, billboard outfits and TV channel Fox Sports Los Angeles to refuse its ads.
   The Weinstein brothers have courted controversy with films like Fahrenheit 9/11, and many ascribe to them an unfailing ability to make money from negative attention. Sometimes it works but the reality is Porno’s distributor The Weinstein Co. (TWC) is struggling financially.
   In August, TWC won an appeal at the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) to get Porno’s rating lowered to an R, from an original NC-17. Two steamy scenes in the film reportedly were cut to get the R.
   An initial color ad poster depicting the two stars was reportedly rejected by CARA’s related Advertising Administration due to subtle suggestion of sex and replaced by stick figures with suggestive copy. Originally, text was “Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks made a movie so outrageous all we can only show you this drawing.” When that drew criticism, copy was toned down to “"Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks made a movie so outrageous that we can’t even tell you the title.”
   Suggestive titles pop up occasionally such as Knocked Up; Sex, Lies and Videotape and Octopussy. But ad campaigns are generally
 
restrained, given ads may be viewed by children. The Weinstein touch is to push ads to the limit.
   Some Web chatter seems to favor the Weinstein and predict the controversy will help the film’s opening. One pundit predicted a $30 million opening for the film. However, sources tell Marketing to Moviegoers that tracking surveys suggest a three-day premiere box office of one-third that level, which would be okay but not great.
   Porno’s filmmaker is Kevin Smith, whose credits are offbeat Clerks and Jersey Girl.
   CARA’s advisory is: “Rated R on Appeal for strong crude sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity and pervasive language.”
   Post Script Nov. 3, 2008--The movie opened to $10 million its first three day weekend ended Nov. 2, which is a medicore box office though certainly not a disaster. Film critics were neutral to negative on the film because its sweetness was a bad fit with the provacative title. That's a marketing issue where creating audience expectations and then not delivering triggers bad word-of-mouth among consumers.
  For full text, click link below:
www.nypost.com/seven/10272008/gossip/pagesix/bloods_in__porns_out_in_utah_135493.htm
 
 
Note the tops of heads at the bottom, which is suggestive of sex acts.