Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Hype?

by | Sep 19th, 2011 | 11:18PM | Filed under: In My Humble Opinion, News, Other Bits

Earlier this year—in March, to be exact—Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson set up a Facebook page and began posting videos from the set of his two upcoming Hobbit films. And by “upcoming,” I mean premiere dates in December 2012 and December 2013.

When Jackson’s first behind-the-scenes video hit the web, I was thrilled just to hear the franchise’s lovely, haunting theme music being put to use once again and I eagerly awaited more updates. But after a few months passed and the hirsute Kiwi kept posting stills, news, and more videos, I had to unsubscribe from his Facebook feed. It was just too much, waaaaay too soon. I’ve proven my status as a huge LOTR fan, but there is such a thing as overexposure. I didn’t want to be sick of hearing about the film—or worse yet, feel like there were no surprises left for me to experience in the theater—months before the end of next year rolls around.

But what’s to be done when you can’t avoid the hype around an upcoming release? If you love movies, which you must since you’re on this site, it’s often really hard to avoid news about such eagerly anticipated 2012 titles as, say, The Hunger Games or The Dark Knight Rises. It’s one thing to expect a bit of fanfare around the announcement of the leads… but when characters who don’t even have names were being cast with relatively unknown actors and actresses and every media outlet on the planet was reporting the updates every other day like they were stop-the-presses-worthy news, I had to shake my head in dismay. I loved The Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins, which is why I’m going to be beyond outraged if I’m still suffering from adaptation exhaustion months before the first film’s March 2012 release.

And don’t even get me started on The Dark Knight Rises’ hype. A teaser trailer for the final entry in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy graced the Internet a full year before the film’s July 2012 premiere. A full year! That’s insane, is it not? Once again, this is a movie I’m looking forward to like everyone else is, but the madness must stop.

Am I alone in feeling this way? Does anyone else prefer the marketing for a film to begin just a few weeks to a few months in advance so as to not get totally fatigued by seeing the same clips and images over and over again? Is anyone else sick of having critical plot points or character reveals spoiled because information is being officially leaked so early? Or does it depend on the film? Are some of these really huge, sure-to-be blockbusters actually worthy of year-in-advance promotion?

12 Responses to “Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Hype?”

  1. Lauranda
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I agree that hearing about and seeing previews of a movie months (and sometimes even a year) before its release is annoying, but it doesn’t stop me from actually going to see it. In fact, certain ones have made me go see it, like Cloverfield. I remember seeing a preview a good year before the actual release and the way it was done was so intriguing that I HAD to see it. Unfortunately, JJ has about a 50% success rate with me and this was one of the bad ones, imo.

  2. Castlekeeper
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 6:06 am

    I think too much build up to a movie has made more than one movie fail. I believe that if something is so hyped expectations run so high that when the movie finally gets watched it cannot meet expectations and so it fails. I believe I have seen this numerous times. You think they would catch onto this..

  3. Sean
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I totally agree – I have to watch what I read online just to keep from getting buried under all the minutiae.

  4. Trevor L
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Agree, I try to avoid headlines with certain movies in them, but in the end I don’t think I’ve ever had a movie ruined for me from it.

  5. Lauranda
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

    The thing with high expectations though is that it may ruin a movie for an individual that built it up in his/her mind, but look how many crappy movies still make a ton of money which sometimes even spawns a sequel.

    PotC 4 is a perfect example. It had nothing to do with the other three and over all, it wasn’t a very good movie (kinda fun to watch, but not much else). YET, it is one of only ten movies to break a billion dollars. Depp, I am certain, had a lot to do with that (see Alice in Wonderland), but the franchise name also lent a hand. And now five and six (also both standalones) are in the works.

  6. Locke Peterseim
    Locke Peterseim
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Lauranda, an interesting aside about Pirates of the Caribbean 4′s box office: I agree 100% with your capsule assessment of it (“kinda fun to watch, but not much else”), but the reason it broke a billion dollars worldwide was heavily due to OVERSEAS ticket sales: $250 million was from North America, $800 million was from foreign markets.

    Some of that is because Depp, pirate tales, and big, flashy action movies have broad international appeal, but it’s also due to several non-creative factors.

    First, there are literally more theaters in the world now–more and more movie theaters are being built every year in developing countries, and over the past decade the percentage of people living overseas with access to a first-run movie theater has increased dramatically. And Hollywood has been right there, ready to fill those new theaters with its product instead of regionally produced films.

    Second, the Internet (and again, increased access to it in developing countries) has dramatically increased the marketing and general awareness of Hollywood products overseas. (And nobody, and I mean nobody, knows how to leverage that into product hype and demand like Disney.)

  7. Lizzie
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Has a movie’s hype ever made you see it before you normally would have? Take the Twilight movies for example. I prefer to see “quality” movies at theaters. Ticket prices aren’t cheap and it takes good acting and/or good action to really make me see a movie in theaters. Otherwise, I can wait to rent it from red box. BUT By the time Breaking Dawn part 1 makes it to redbox , I will have heard endless opinions of the quality and it will skew my own opinion. So regards of how good Breaking Dawn is going to be, I have to be there for the midnight showing or go into hibernation until I have a chance to see it.

  8. Fiirvoen
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Is there too much hype for a movie? Two words: Green Lantern. By the time the movie rolled around, I had seen the trailer 30-50 times on television ALONE. It got to the point where I had to start fast forwarding my DVR through the trailers. THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO YOUR TARGET MARKET.

  9. moviegoer123
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    There’s definitely sometimes too much hype about movies. Like Avatar and The Social Network and after a week in theaters, The Help — those sort of got too much hype because they are so GREAT movies.

    It’s understandable that people are EXCITED they seen the movie in the theaters the first weekend in release but sometimes, people can take it too far like Avatar has a blog and everything and Avatar 2 won’t be even in theaters until 2014 and Avatar 3 won’t be in theaters until 2015.

    The Social Network is really understandable because almost everyone these days go on Facebook or tweet-tweet-tweet their friends on Twitter and the film can relate to almost anybody since they use that social media and they don’t know about the invention of Facebook until they watch that movie.

    The Help got some hype on the performances. But The Help got the right dosage of hype — not way over the hype such as Avatar and Social Network. The Help surely does have those moving messages by Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis. Everyone who’s seen the movie are praising the movie for just the performances. But I spec The Help needs more hype since really it is a great movie.

    And lord have mercy, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — of course that got hype since we’ve seen it for awhile the series and wonder what will happen to Capt. Jack Sparrow if we don’t see another.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II — I think that got way too much hype. It’s in the last in the series we all know that but some people can go too far like sitting in a movie theater parking lot for a day waiting for its release I heard that’s insane.

    They are just movies. It’s just entertainment\media. We all should know when to stop the hype when it gets too far.

  10. Kim
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    How did the average moviegoer in the past ever venture into a movie without all the bruhaha and “hype” given these days? I do remember there was the printed ads and stories in the Hollywood magazines and occasional previews in the theaters,but not 1+ years before they are released. Yes there is a definite overkill by all the social medias. I’m usually so sick of the onslaught of advertising/promos that I could care less if I ever see the film. I’ve seen so much of the film that there is little mystery left to view thats a surprise. Thank goodness having a child in 9 months has less previews and hype, the birthrate might take a real dip. There goes that Target Market!

  11. Angel
    Posted on September 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Less is more! Media as always stays true to form and goes way over an acceptable mode….too much and your anticipation is better than the actual movie….sigh….