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Last post Author Topic: Sex Doesn't Sell  (Read 8705 times)

Paul Keith

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Sex Doesn't Sell
« on: January 02, 2010, 01:55:55 PM »
Quote
Sex and nudity in movies have failed to generate ticket sales in Hollywood, says a report.

The report titled Sex Doesn't Sell -- Nor Impress! is authored by Dean Keith Simonton and Anemone Cerridwen. The authors, who examined more than 900 films released between 2001 and 2005, indicated that virtually all the top-grossing films that came out during that period had little or no sex or nudity, reports imdb.com.

"Sex did not sell, whether in the domestic or international box office, and even after controlling for MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] rating," said Simonton, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis.

Added Cerridwen: "In other words, even among R [rated] movies, less graphic sex is better."

Cerridwen also said that the study evolved from a personal experience while she was taking an acting class and became concerned about the sexual content of the scripts she was viewing.

"I assumed sex sold and wanted to know by how much. I braced myself for the worst, and got quite the surprise."

She is also hoping that the study will influence Hollywood producers.

"I do believe that there are a fair number of people in the film industry who want to make better films, and this study may give them some ammunition," said Cerridwen.

http://sify.com/movi...tory.php?id=14925606

4wd

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 06:11:34 PM »
It could be that:

a) the films that had nudity/sex in them were just total crap, in which case nothing would save them, or
b) films that did extremely well while not having much in the way of nudity/sex did better than they would of because, (even if by a small margin), of the nudity/sex, or
c) the genre of the films they used in their report appealed more to one particular category of movie viewers, (drama, sci-fi, etc), than all movie viewers.

Unless they publish all the names of the films they are refering to so that people can look at what genre, overall rating, country and movie viewer demographics they appealed to, then this report is basically a fantasy.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 10:26:37 PM »
then this report is basically a fantasy.
...And a stunningly retarded one at that.

Sex and/or sex appeal is used to sell everything from breath mints to cell phones. Fashion models flocking around some grinning schmuck (like mongrel dogs to carrion) because his breath is just so minty fresh they're all just dieing to what? (f...) play Parcheesi with him?!? - Please...

The babblingly idiotic assumption that "removing" nudity from a film means there is no sex in it is beyond absurd. It just means that its that much easier to get it past the ratings board. ...and at some point you'll need to waste 5 minutes watching two lumps romp about under a blanket.

Now here's a question for the film industry ... Why is that having the beauty of the human (female) form so horrifyingly taboo that it must be rated R or worse, but depicting a woman getting rapped and beaten to death in an ally is (for some demented reason) quality (prime time) entertainment?!?

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2010, 12:12:30 AM »
Those are both valid points and normally I would agree but I've been watching alot of Cronenberg lately and even though his movie receptions are old, this article reminded me of one IMDB poster's account of someone he knew.

I didn't save it but based on memory it went something like:
Quote
It's interesting how a guy like Cronenberg went from making crap and then went on to create a great movie like A History of Violence.

Now, while it's true that the fanbase of Cronenberg tend to have people who are most endeared by him based on the shock factor of nudity and gore, what I find interesting is that you could almost find patterns where people might excuse his movies as quality if it weren't as shocking.

The one comment that jumped at me is this person's comment of his movie Crash:

Quote
This film does however prove a very interesting point, something of which every young filmmaker should take careful note: It is possible to turn a quasi-pornographic movie with twisted sexual scenarios and "controversial" material galore into something profoundly boring. Twisted freaks get turned on by car crashes, and... well, that's about it, actually. For an hour and a half. If the viewer isn't turned on by the (apparently deliberately) unerotic sex, what does this have to offer? I've read the theory that this is about the deep connection between sex and death, but surely that topic has been explored in far more interesting and illuminating ways. Really, this is a rather sad one-trick pony of a movie: It all depends on the viewer's being *shocked* by the "controversial" subject-matter, but if the viewer isn't shocked (as I wasn't. Perhaps I'm just really, really jaded...) this is incredibly shallow and, I repeat once more for emphasis, excruciatingly dull.

...it almost seems as if the expectation is both a hypocrisy that if it has sex, it needs to be at the minimum tantalizing and borderline make you interested but if it has that factor, it is porn so it's low quality porn as highlighted by a review of another movie A Sleeping Dictionary:

Quote
Ridiculous Teeny-Bop Soft-Porn Noble Savage Tripe

Utterly unbelievable that colonial Brits and natives of Sarawak in the first third of the last century had perfect teeth, perfect complexions (in spite of mixed ancestry), and that women groomed themselves with shaved legs and shaved arm pits! What a typically absurd Hollywood distortion of reality! It was like watching the old black & white `historicals' from the 30's or 40's with all the stars having their then current hair-dos and facial hair (e.g., pencil thin mustaches on the men, etc.) none of which had any historical accuracy whatsoever and look totally absurd in retrospect. It was silly.

This is an expensive `passion pit' movie designed to get the teeny boys and girls hot 'n bothered on their night out. A totally vapid and worthless romance. A shame to the genre.


I'm not saying this movie deserves an award or that people should praise these movies as high quality unanimously but I find it interesting that "sex" as the main theme is one of those elements that many people can put into a category of "Look, if you're going do a sex scene make it look accurate but make it so it seems attractive to me on screen and not just dull and boring."

Where as if you put any of these other "pretty" elements in other genres, the flaws tend to levitate more into the category of "It's a Hollywood movie, what did you expect?" rather than "Hollywood absurdity". (or if it gets criticized as a Hollywood absurdity, it never expands into an additional demeaning term equivalent to accusing a movie as porn)

Then there's such culture views as these: (comment made on The Bounty IMDB forum)

Quote
Any and all frontal or female topless nudity should be at least rated "R". Obviously alot of under aged children and teens will be watching and especially with the popularity of pirate movies. Im amazed that this was only rated "PG". The double standard is a slap in the face for all non-white cultures. They're basically saying these women arent equal to white women so they shouldnt be seen as enticing or sexual. There's enough blood in this movie to earn it at least an upgrade to a PG-13 and topless nudity should be an "R".

...thus requiring another poster to clarify it in these words:

Quote
First of all I can't imagine many men, regardless of their colour, not finding the women enticing or sexual. In wanting to equate the treatment of white and non-white women you are making a statement about something that was natural to the women of Tahiti, imposing the "white" view of what is acceptable on a non-white culture. It is you who is giving a non-white culture a slap in the face.
When white women are shown topless in films it is usually in a sexual context and justifies a different treatment.

That aside the story line revolves around the love affair between Fletcher Christian and Mauatau.

...but then you have an issue such as this:

Quote
You misread my statement. Pay attention now. I said by making the movie PG rather than R-rated, they're saying these women, though in their natural habitat, aren't to be seen as sexual whereas white women would be covered up. Sure white women in civilized countries don't run around with their breasts swinging in the breeze but this is a movie playing in the US not in Tahiti so the U.S. viewers who are the intended audience, aren't just looking at some native women in their own environment. These women are also being looked at and lusted after as sex objects by the crew on the Bounty. The natural habitat part is just a loophole. I have no problem with how the women appear in the movie but how the movie is rated.

Ultimately though, I'm not saying this article is right or wrong but I think we shouldn't dismiss this as black and white inaccurate quite so fast.

I know I made generalizing statements and there are enough movies with sex and nudity that break this mold to prove this article but I guess to me, I just don't read this as Sex Doesn't Sell because Sex Sells but rather, Sex Sells but it won't sell as much as a movie without Sex.

Examples that come to my mind are Cameron's Titanic nude scene where the lack of sex is what made the plot more memorable despite it still containing nudity and being more soft-porn plot than most soft-porn plot, Total Recall where Arnie goes to lengths for literally his dream girl, The Matrix where it could just as be an analogy for being seduced by an Ice Queen (plus let's not forget the machine lesbian scene), A Clockwork Orange where the rape scene is respected as artistic because of the director's reputation (although Kubrick didn't get away with it in Eyes Wide Shut)

Ultimately though, I'm not singling these movies out nor am I saying no one ever criticized them as such but I find it interesting that there seems to be an interesting standard in highly respected movies where there's an unspoken stereotypical rule that Sex and Nudity can only sell if you turn it into a one-shot "almost unrelated" nude scene thus satisfying both those who are looking for that particular nude scene and also satisfying thoe who normally might be appalled by it in an almost disassociative effect where the porn lovers get their pie and the other movie goers feel like they got their plot and that the director added the scene because it added to the story. (even though many times, these scenes are often the least related to the plot compared with movies with more "in your face" nudity) Similarly sex scenes it seems must never imply full sexuality (in a seemingly similar reason to Robert Downey Jr.'s statement that "one must never go full retard when playing a retard" in Tropic Thunder) or else it's porn or it's bad or it's detracting.

But if a director focuses on the pre- and post- implications of a sex scene, then they can get away with a porn equivalent plot and even a violent sex scene and be perceived as being of a higher quality. Of course, it can be also said that this technique is often used by directors who can make better movies and thus it's not so much that the movie uses this technique as much as it is indeed a higher quality film.

Still... I look at some of the positive statements to Eyes Wide Shut and I find it interesting where many can excuse the scenes and interpret it as being "above porn" because it holds these qualities even though the movie didn't sell as much compared to say Flesh+Blood's portrayal of a sex scene.

(Although both are entirely unrelated movies with different timespans and a more accurate picture can be had by using Basic Instinct as a comparison but I did it this way anyway because it's still a stretched out comparison anyways and I don't really have an extensive knowledge of movies)

zridling

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 03:55:57 AM »
I think the worst gratuitous nudity I've ever seen in a film was the absolutely awful film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008).

vomiting_thumb.jpg

I could have lived an entire life without seeing Jason Segel's ugly junk, fat gut, puffy nips, and hatchet ass.

4wd

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 04:14:50 AM »
Those are both valid points and normally I would agree but I've been watching alot of Cronenberg lately and even though his movie receptions are old, this article reminded me of one IMDB poster's account of someone he knew.

.....and lot's more.....

Wow, I was just querying the methodology behind the report without even getting into the philosophy behind it all.

Eóin

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2010, 04:30:52 AM »

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2010, 06:04:47 AM »
Those are both valid points and normally I would agree but I've been watching alot of Cronenberg lately and even though his movie receptions are old, this article reminded me of one IMDB poster's account of someone he knew.

.....and lot's more.....

Wow, I was just querying the methodology behind the report without even getting into the philosophy behind it all.

I was doing the reverse. I guess I just didn't respect the article enough. I thought the content was lite from the get go that only the conclusion mattered.

y0himba

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 09:23:10 AM »
One really needs to wonder though, why does sex sell?  Have we, the ones who feed at the teat of the mainstream media whore, become so dumbed down that we allow it to sell? Personally, I prefer movies without a lot of sex.  The implied intimacy is much more effective than just throwing it all out there for the world to see.  If I wanted to see two people having sex in a movie I would rent a porn flick.  Seeing simulated or even partially real sex in a movie is just desperation to me.  I prefer to have the real thing rather than fantasize about having sex, porn or even soft core never made any sense to me.

When I go to a movie I go for entertainment, not to wank in the back row.  Commercials that feature sex or sex appeal just make me change the channel.  You want to sell me a product?  Show me facts, demonstrations, show me it works.  Don't give me smoke and mirrors or try to assume I am some lowbrow wanker that will buy it because of a 'hot chick'.  Look at al the idiots running around using Axe body spray because they assume the smell of musky animal urine combined with laundry soap is somehow going to make them smell good and be attractive, because they fell into the Lemming style trap of the commercials that caused a fad.  Seems that the highly underrated movie "Idiocracy" is more than just a mere sarcastic statement on society?

Sorry folks, I am one person that sex doesn't sell.  Unless it is my wife trying to convince me to buy her something....then I'm easy :p
My Web Site:  http://www.y0himba.net

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2010, 11:29:58 AM »
I didn't do any research on this but if you just want my personal opinion:

Quote
One really needs to wonder though, why does sex sell?  Have we, the ones who feed at the teat of the mainstream media whore, become so dumbed down that we allow it to sell?

No.

It's the opposite actually.

Short Answer:

Sex sells works by selling the sizzle not the steak.

Long Answer:

The idea of sex selling increase with one's intelligence and imagination.

It's the classic trick of being a tease. Of unwrapping the mystery.

Quote
Personally, I prefer movies without a lot of sex.  The implied intimacy is much more effective than just throwing it all out there for the world to see.  If I wanted to see two people having sex in a movie I would rent a porn flick.  Seeing simulated or even partially real sex in a movie is just desperation to me.  I prefer to have the real thing rather than fantasize about having sex, porn or even soft core never made any sense to me.

Same thing with the idea of "Sex sells."

It's not about targeting those people who fantasize about sex, porn or even soft porn.

It's about targetting people who are "on the fence" because these people are the ones who will likely have lower standards of:

"Well...as long as it has sex in it". (Over-simplification)

It's the same deal with a "family movie". Sex selling may seem like the farthest from being applied in this genre but...

Artistic quality and hype aside, from a marketing perspective, you don't try to market it to people with high family standards because these are people who are bound to be most in-tune when something seems off.

Instead you target it to people who are "on the fence" about watching a movie without sex or have lower "family" standards because lower standards = more general standards = you can get away with more vague stuff.

Either way, sex sells is still applied only this time it's a variation: sell the fact that there isn't any sex or the only possible scenes there will be would be intimate and implied.

This effect sounds like the opposite of each other but it really translates more into adding burger instead of rice along with the dish.

It's less about making a 90 degrees turn on a message as much as it is changing the wallpaper to suit the person.

Yes, the image of the wallpaper can have a strong effect but at the end of the day, you're not switching the motive or the content of the application, you're just wrapping it up in a different box that the target audience would like to open.

It could even be as simple as creating an entire porn movie and just removing the sex scene and the language and dressing them up in different outfits. It's still based on the same concept because sex didn't disappear or become more intimate. Instead, the idea is that you use the target audience's expectation that the movie isn't about sex to make the movie seem intimate. 

For a more specific example,

I don't know what your opinion of Wall-E is but it's generally regarded as a movie without sex and a movie that defines intimate love that elevates beyond the human need for lust or even love made stronger by love making. (As portrayed by two machines as opposed to two humans getting together)

Yet you could just as conclude, as one IMDB poster wrote, that:

Quote
This movie was ruined for me when I heard EVE resembles a certain female oriented electronic device. There, now you too can live with the pain.

http://www.imdb.com/...board/flat/153424454

Quote
When I go to a movie I go for entertainment, not to wank in the back row.  Commercials that feature sex or sex appeal just make me change the channel.  You want to sell me a product?  Show me facts, demonstrations, show me it works.  Don't give me smoke and mirrors or try to assume I am some lowbrow wanker that will buy it because of a 'hot chick'.  Look at al the idiots running around using Axe body spray because they assume the smell of musky animal urine combined with laundry soap is somehow going to make them smell good and be attractive, because they fell into the Lemming style trap of the commercials that caused a fad.  Seems that the highly underrated movie "Idiocracy" is more than just a mere sarcastic statement on society?

Sure, but look at it this way.

Isn't the Axe commercial demonstrating that it works? ...and in the most un-sexual way possible?

After all, for a commercial with the implication that it will make women want to have sex with you, how many of the guys were actually good looking to begin with and instead of bagging a girl, merely got groped by several strangers they walked passed by? (Thus empirically highlighting how Axe actually keeps the handsome guys from having enjoyable sex.)

Compare this to a shampoo commercial where the empirical implication is that you should give a beautiful girl that brand of shampoo as a birthday present because not only does she look like she's having an orgasm using it but sometimes it's even accompanied by her looking like her best and being happy right after she got out of the shower. (Thus empirically implying that she's more likely to "get it on" with you after her shower using said shampoo.)

Yet compare the two stereotypes for both ads and the Axe commercial oozes more sexuality while the shampoo commercial may even come off as sexually unrelated.

Why?

Because in the Axe commercial, the mystery is: "I wonder what girl will grope me AFTER I use the product."

Meanwhile, while the shampoo commercial has it's own mystery, in terms of sex there isn't as much mystery.

Once the female uses the shampoo, you're already being told that she is more beautiful, that she has got it on with her man and they are both happy AND that she is going to be more in the mood to do something "fun" with you.

It's not a universal rule because quality and expectations still has to be factored as well as other aspects of attraction but the one thing definite about the rule sex sells is the paradox that less, not more sex is what makes it work best.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 12:00:45 PM »
It could even be as simple as creating an entire porn movie and just removing the sex scene and the language and dressing them up in different outfits. It's still based on the same concept because sex didn't disappear or become more intimate.
That has already been done (complete with the bad acting)...They're called Soap-Operas.

Another interesting point is the direct correlation between sex and power (predatory <-lure/allure-> sensuality). Granted more obvious in the animal kingdom - but we are animals (just rather deluded ones)...

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 12:08:15 PM »
 ;D  (Never thought of it that way)

Is it sex and power though or just rape and power? 

Tuxman

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2010, 12:18:56 PM »
Sex is overrated.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2010, 01:34:20 PM »
Is it sex and power though or just rape and power?
Absolutely not, rape puts force in the entirely wrong direction. The power which I refer to is about a draw or attraction. Some one that has has presence, that can walk into the room and command attention without saying a word. They carry themselves (e.g. their posture is perfect but not exaggerated) "well", which implies confidence, and tends to make one look better (gender is irrelevant).

It's the subtle sensuality and grace that disarms without force...(yet are powered/driven by baser instincts)...and makes one alluring or, sexy (hence the "pursued" is very much in control).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 01:36:48 PM by Stoic Joker »

wraith808

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2010, 01:57:39 PM »
How to Lie with Statistics.  There are quite a few other good ones out there, but this is required reading for post-graduate research students at some universities- to show how *not* to do a study.

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2010, 10:07:56 PM »
Is it sex and power though or just rape and power?
Absolutely not, rape puts force in the entirely wrong direction. The power which I refer to is about a draw or attraction. Some one that has has presence, that can walk into the room and command attention without saying a word. They carry themselves (e.g. their posture is perfect but not exaggerated) "well", which implies confidence, and tends to make one look better (gender is irrelevant).

It's the subtle sensuality and grace that disarms without force...(yet are powered/driven by baser instincts)...and makes one alluring or, sexy (hence the "pursued" is very much in control).

Oh ok. I just thought maybe it was never "Sex Sells" but "Rape Sells" seeing the recent success of Avatar (except the phrase is non-PC so that the former phrase got meme'd)

wraith808

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2010, 10:53:39 PM »
Where does Avatar come into this?  Is there some controversy that I'm not aware of regarding it?

superboyac

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2010, 11:27:25 PM »
I think the worst gratuitous nudity I've ever seen in a film was the absolutely awful film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008).
I could have lived an entire life without seeing Jason Segel's ugly junk, fat gut, puffy nips, and hatchet ass.
;D It's true.  In the classic words of one of my friends, "That...was...bad."  Of course, I wouldn't have minded seeing a little more of the 70's show girl.

superboyac

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2010, 11:30:10 PM »
Where does Avatar come into this?  Is there some controversy that I'm not aware of regarding it?
I just saw it.  The only controversy I can think of as far as nudity is that every once in a while, you could see the nipple of the blue people.  Turned me on a little.

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2010, 12:52:56 AM »
Where does Avatar come into this?  Is there some controversy that I'm not aware of regarding it?

No there's none as far as I know.

I guess I shouldn't have been vague and used a more specific word as "Raptio Sells" but that isn't clear cut either.

Neither is the word rapture and ravish in the context of movies where it can just as much relate to action movies and other genres.

I also didn't want it to exclude such things like The Dark Knight where although it wasn't explicit, I interpret some of it's theme as a form of subtle sexual violation. Although sex here is more mental rape of the cultural perspective of masculinity than spelled out rape (excluding the scene where Joker was in the interrogating room and revealled something to Bats that pissed him off and beat him up...although again there it is more a violation of privacy dealing with something relationship related)  

Eóin

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2010, 09:57:25 AM »
Surely subtle interpertations and messages shouldn't affect box-office performance, rather just the overall tone of a movie.

Paul Keith

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2010, 12:03:05 PM »
Surely subtle interpertations and messages shouldn't affect box-office performance, rather just the overall tone of a movie.

I think if these were true then marketing wouldn't be as effective as it is in adding interest to a movie.

Then again, it could just be that marketing is underrated in an over-marketed Hollywood that makes it seem like everything is over-marketed as it is already.

I don't claim to know anything about Hollywood especially since I don't live in America but based on anecdotes I've heard (stuff like things talked about in Dinner for Five or in the Actor's Studio) but box-office performances is vastly about first impressions and talking hype. (Pre-P2P explosion, critical response may even be more valued than it is.)

They're not guaranteed success formulas (since everyone in high budget films tend to apply the same fundamental tactics) but if the media cannot pick up on a "sound bite" to hype the movie or it's the wrong soundbyte, it will vastly change the results of the box-office success.

That's where vagueness and subtle interpretations and messages come in.

If a director is a "high profile" director, then he could take more risks. Maybe survive in his reputation as an "artist".

...but in general, subtle interpretations and messages at best is delegated to DVD sales or "cult" status.

Of course as the rabbit hole becomes more generic and tries to fill more items, it's more apparent that not all, maybe even more than half of "cult movie" fans may have poor tastes even in their own niche genres.

Still... if initial reactions weren't at least half of what determines box-office quality, the industry won't rely so much on short story movie adaptations, popular licensed materials and remakes PLUS marketing.

Another thing to factor is that 90% of popular movies' overall tone may not be the premise or the concept of a movie but in the posters, the communal reinforecement, the ratio of critics praising/hating it and the hook. (but in our attempt to rationalize the irrational, we miss this and do as the critics/internet fans do and become meta-info judges where we undervalue such subjectivity)

I don't know if there's a double blind test done on this but I'd really like to see a more scientific application of Be Kind Rewind's concept:

Quote
A small VHS only video store faces foreclosure in a poor community. While watching the store for the owner, a blundering employee's friend accidentally erases all of the tapes. In order to keep their blunder from becoming apparent, the duo of Mike and Jerry begin remaking the films themselves using homemade special effects and outdated filming techniques.

...except on a general populace.

One movie would be more advertised, better marketed (as a serious movie) and containing lower quality scenes (but good enough that people won't suspect it's a test) and popular actors intentionally acting "lifeless" and plot intentionally made poorer (think Nicholas Cage Wicker Man poor)

Same movie would be released 2 weeks after. Same location. Less advertised. Even better and more proper marketing (minus the name of the director replaced with a pseudonym). Higher quality scenes. Less known but better acting people. Plot differences intentionally made better. Sell it and see who creates the bigger box office splash and then compare the DVD sales and compare the P2P download numbers and ultimately the return.

The big problem though is creating this right element of two similar but different enough movies while convincing a successful director and successful marketers to tackle it.

Then again if we were to use the issue with Rec and Quarantine or Prestige and The Illusionist or even Batman TAS: Subzero vs. Batman and Robin then it seems it's statistically very likely to do such an experiment if the experts were careful enough with all the details.


« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 12:05:57 PM by Paul Keith »

Innuendo

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2010, 04:00:48 PM »
I just glanced through some of these responses so forgive me if this point has already been made.

I am an American so I will only comment on American culture. Once upon a time we lived in a gentler, more innocent environment when it came to the movies (I'll restrict my remarks to movies as that seems to be what most people in the thread are focusing on). There was sex & sex scenes, but there is today. Some guy at a movie studio got the bright idea that if he threw in something more explicit than what was norm for the time his movie would cause a splash & see increased ticket sales.

He was right...bam! Sex sells. Ticket sales shoot up and money is made by everybody involved with the movie. Of course, this doesn't go unnoticed by the other movie guys & they each take steps to go farther to out-do the last guy with the sexual aspect of their movies & bring in the money.

That worked great...until now. Even though current movie makers dance the line between what keeps a movie Rated R and what would make it Rated X we've reached a plateau as a culture. We've seen it all. There are no new tricks. There are no more plot twists to wow us with. It's all old hat & culturally we've become very jaded movie watchers.

One only needs to view the 1972 Marlon Brando/Maria Schneider movie 'Last Tango In Paris' to see my point painfully illustrated. Upon its release it was Rated X & caused quite a scandalous stir as to how outrageous it was. Viewing it today it's quite frankly ho-hum & could be classified as a 'mild' R-rated movie by today's standards.

Sex sold & it sold well, but it's become a commodity item and one cannot demand a premium price on something that is over-stocked in abundance everywhere.

Renegade

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2010, 04:57:09 PM »
If I wanted to see two people having sex in a movie I would rent a porn flick.  Seeing simulated or even partially real sex in a movie is just desperation to me.  I prefer to have the real thing rather than fantasize about having sex, porn or even soft core never made any sense to me.


Oh... My... God...

When did get inside my head and write down my thoughts?

Seriously. Amen to that! I loathe sex scenes in mainstream film. If I want to see sex, I'll get a porn movie. They do it much better than mainstream Hollywood anyways. The "ancient" way of fading to black is really much better. There are rare circumstances when a sex scene can be a part of a plot, but like I said... rare.

Back to your point -- Watch it or do it? Doing is better.

I have the same view of professional sports though. Why would I want to watch somebody play a game if I can play the game myself? It just seems insane to me. Watching other people have fun rather than having fun yourself?

Voyeurism is a demented sort of living vicariously through others. Is it fear? Are people afraid to do it themselves? I'd put bets on that. (Yeah... I know... I just offended every sports and porn fan by calling them cowards or chickens or whatever.)



When I go to a movie I go for entertainment, not to wank in the back row.  Commercials that feature sex or sex appeal just make me change the channel.  You want to sell me a product?  Show me facts, demonstrations, show me it works.  Don't give me smoke and mirrors or try to assume I am some lowbrow wanker that will buy it because of a 'hot chick'.  Look at al the idiots running around using Axe body spray because they assume the smell of musky animal urine combined with laundry soap is somehow going to make them smell good and be attractive, because they fell into the Lemming style trap of the commercials that caused a fad.  Seems that the highly underrated movie "Idiocracy" is more than just a mere sarcastic statement on society?

Sorry folks, I am one person that sex doesn't sell.  Unless it is my wife trying to convince me to buy her something....then I'm easy :p


I am SICK of advertising that pitches sex to me. "Buy our product and you'll get laid." It's lame and insulting. The underlying message (or rather, implications), are that:

  • You are too stupid to understand our product
  • You are ruled by your genitals and have little self control
  • You cannot get laid on your own
  • Corollary to the immediately above point: You are a loser
  • Corollary to the immediately above point: You can be a winner by buying our product
  • Winners get laid
  • Corollary to the immediately above 2 points: You can get laid by buying our product
  • ******************
  • Conclusion: Buy our product
  • :-\

How insulting is that? You are basically being called a total moron by every company that advertises to you. Clothing marketing is the worst. "Look at our sexy 15-year-old models. Buy our products and you too can live in pedophile heaven."

I would rather just walk down the street and see billboards with hard core pornography. At least it would be a bit more honest.



Seems that the highly underrated movie "Idiocracy" is more than just a mere sarcastic statement on society?


AMEN! The movie was simply a brilliant reflection of the world we live in. If I had to rate Idiocracy, I'd say that it goes to 11. ;)

 
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Eóin

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Re: Sex Doesn't Sell
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2010, 07:39:46 PM »
The "ancient" way of fading to black is really much better. There are rare circumstances when a sex scene can be a part of a plot, but like I said... rare.

This approach has been mentioned a couple of times, but surely implying things are happening is defeating the point of the medium. I mean you could fade out the action scenes, the emotional scenes, the establishing shots? Where do you stop? The medium is there to tell and portray a story, otherwise we could all just read the synopsis.