Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Internet Search Ratings as Harbingers?

Yahoo has posted its "Most Anticipated Summer Films" ratings. And the usual suspects are in the usual places. Mostly. But is this any kind of predictor?

1. “Spider-Man 3″ (May 4)

2. “Transformers” (July 4)

3. “Shrek The Third” (May 18)

4. “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (May 25)

5. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (July 13)

And so forth and so on. The piece points out that Ratatouille is listed at #19, right above Knocked Up. (Which, frankly, I've never heard of. But I get around so little.) The reasons given for the low rank of Pixar's new baby are as follows:

Paris as a location is a turn off to a lot of people. Disney pressured the studio early on to make the rats less rat-like and more like-able. Early child reaction to the character design has not been what Pixar hoped. And of course you have the film’s title, which most children can’t pronounce, never-mind understand and relate to. Maybe people don’t even know how to spell it, never-mind google/yahoo it.

I lean toward "nobody knows how to spell it". It might very well be that Pixar's latest film won't be a blockbuster for the reasons cited, but I've got to believe that A) Brad Bird and Pixar have turned out an entertaining film, B) the brand name is still potent, C) Disney still knows how to market animation, and therefore Ratatouille will finish higher than internet rankings now indicate.

On the other hand. I might be a starry-eyed optimist and horribly wrong. I guess we'll see.


Anonymous said...

The 9 minutes of Ratatouille online today display more wit, charm, character, and artistry than all 3 Shrek films individually AND together (and I've seen the 3rd shrek movie already). Who knows what that may mean to the box office in the short term, but no doubt Ratatouille will be a superior film this summer.

Anonymous said...

I agree fully with the above statement. I just watched the 9 minute clip and was astounded at how much genuine characterization and charm is evident in this film. I suspect the title is just too difficult to spell for much of the online crowd, so I'm not surprised that it may not be getting as many searches as other summer film titles. Hopefully though, moviegoers will recognize quality when they see it and will make "Ratatouille" as big a hit as previous Pixar/Disney releases. (And seriously, how could anyone not love the exquisite sights and sounds of Paris? Silly Americans...)

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

I happen to stay in the US right now, in a house with about 10-15 other people, and as I was watching that clip, suddenly the 5-6 people in the area stopped doing what they were doing and joined watching it. "Is that the film about the rat in a restaurant?" "I'm so looking forward to this film." "Is that that new movie by the director of The Incredibles?" "God, this looks beautiful." "This is so hilarious." were only some of the reactions. And this was a group of people ranging from 15-70 years old.

I have a hard time believing this movie won't do that good because of the name...

Anonymous said...

spin nothing but journalistic spin!

Anonymous said...

Good looking stuff!

I wager that those 9 minutes of frames costs approximately 11 -13 million to produce.

Steve said...

Personally, I feel the movie isn't being searched for because people can't spell "Ratatouille."

If it was Pixar's "Gum," it would be kicking ass in the Yahoo searchy thingy.

Anonymous said...

Paris is a turn off? 'Cos of the Iraq war thing? Please!!

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