Thursday, April 26, 2012
The self-created hype over Epix
I don't know about where you are, but here in Los Angeles, we're being inundated with billboards that look something like this. (Imagine it elongated into the rectangular shape of a billboard.)
This was pretty much my first awareness of a premium television channel called Epix. So if awareness is what they wanted to create, I guess they accomplished their mission.
If a sense of exclusivity is what they wanted to create, well, mission failed.
The supposedly momentous "Marvel Heroes Weekend," which begins in JUST TWO DAYS!! (but has been advertised for well over a month), includes the three movies you see here: Thor, Captain America and Iron Man 2.
So, I'm supposed to congratulate some genius in the Epix advertising department who figured out that they might have the rights to three of Marvel's recent movies?
Otherwise I don't get why this is supposed to excite me so much.
I sort of get why they think it's cool that they can show Thor and Captain America. Both movies came out in 2011. But Thor has been available on DVD since September, and Captain America since October.
As for Iron Man 2? Yeah, that movie hit theaters in 2010. In fact, when my wife and I finally saw it last year, it was streaming on Netflix. Making it kind of the opposite of exclusive.
It would be one thing if Epix were a free basic cable station, which was proudly trumpeting its coup of winning the rights to these three successful movies. But you have to pay for Epix. It's offered on the Dish Network, among others, but it ain't part of your basic subscription. You have to pay extra.
We live in an age where its possible to get so many movies in so many ways, so quickly after they hit theaters (and even while they're in theaters if you want to buy an illegal bootleg), that it seems very antiquated to be hyping up what amounts to a clever pairing of long available properties, nakedly designed to whet your appetite for next week's opening of Joss Whedon's The Avengers. But which geeks are they really trying to appeal to here? Which geeks counting the hours until The Avengers opens have not already seen these three movies? Probably multiple times?
Thanks but no thanks, Epix. We're even considering a move to the Dish Network, but I don't think we'll be adding you any time soon. Even if you can show us The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises in August of 2013.