Snake’s hype fails to deliver at box office

Big news today (to the dozen or so people in the world who care) in reports that the much-awaited Samuel L Jackson epic ‘Snakes On a Plane‘ has had a fizzer of an opening weekend in the US, pulling in a paltry $15.3m despite substantial online hype in recent months.

I’m the first to admit that the online hype was pretty cool. You could go through a little wizard and create a personalised voicemail message from Sam J, and there were some pretty cool MySpace skins to download – which is something we’re definitely going to see more of (especially given how crappy the standard MySpace skins are).

But seriously… Snakes? On a plane? Does Sam J owe money to the mob? Why didn’t they just pour the money into a shot-for-shot remake of Ishtar? Or a Director’s cut of Caddyshack?

If we’re talking ROI, my guess is that the money spent online returned a lot more than whatever they paid for the screenplay, actors, production etc. That said, one thing I’m wondering – do you reckon it hurt them to focus so much resource targeting a demographic that was just going to download the movie anyway?

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