It has been Hollywood gospel for decades that advertising and marketing can help a film to open strongly, but moviegoers talking with each other are crucial to its continuing success. [… Younger moviegoers] resist a choice that is not in step with their peer group. Having joined the crowd at Transformers, they’re making their plans to see G. I. Joe. Some may have heard about The Hurt Locker, but simply lack the nerve to suggest a movie choice that involves a departure from groupthink.

If I mention the cliché “the dumbing-down of America,” it’s only because there’s no way around it. And this dumbing-down seems more pronounced among younger Americans. It has nothing to do with higher educational or income levels. It proceeds from a lack of curiosity[…] This trend coincides with the growing effectiveness of advertising and marketing campaigns to impose box office success on heavily-promoted [CGI] blockbusters, which are themselves often promotions for video games. No checks and balances prevail. The mass media is the bitch of marketing.


Craig Ferguson, July 21, 2009