Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Coming approximately sometime soon

When I went to the movies last night, The Maze Runner was just one of a couple trailers that had no idea when its movie was coming out.

Instead of something definitive like "this September" (which would have been accurate) or "this spring" (which would have also been accurate in the southern hemisphere), the movie only advertises that it is coming out "this year."

The same could be said for Dracula Untold, which is coming out here in October.

Your first assumption would be that this trailer was made for international release, and is trying to be as flexible as possible for a wide array of release dates. And I'm sure that's what the explanation is.

But we're not even talking about any voiceover that needs to be re-recorded -- almost no trailers have voiceover these days. We're only talking about title cards that can easily be switched out. And in fact, have already been switched out to become more generic than the U.S. trailers for the same movies.

What's even worse than "this year" is what I've seen on a couple other occasions: "this season." That draws even more attention to the differences in the seasons between here and the northern hemisphere, which this tactic is supposed to be de-emphasizing. I appreciate what they're going for, trying to be a bit more definitive about the soonness with which this is coming, but it just ends up seeming all the more absurd.

However, it is consistent with a ridiculous sort of advertising inexactness that we've noted on Australian television. My wife and I joke over the fact that ads for new shows won't actually tell you when they are debuting until, like, three days before the debut. Before that, the ads simply say "coming soon" or "this April" or the like. The advertising psychology is supposed to have something to do with keeping you committed to the station, so you have to keep checking back for updates and can't waste any valuable time on competing networks. But it was comical how difficult a time we had determining when the most recent season of Downtown Abbey was supposed to start. We couldn't even find out the information online.

Well, there was at least one movie I saw advertised last night that had a true sense of self. Interstellar boldly and somewhat surprisingly committed to a release date of NOVEMBER. Of course, that's only because Christopher Nolan's latest is big enough that it has essentially the same release date everywhere on the planet.

As for The Maze Runner, I'll be looking for it -- or not, as the case may be -- any time between now and December 31st.

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