Epic Fail: What If They Released A Trailer & Nobody Saw It (Commentary)

The trailer for TPM’s 3D re-release was unleashed on October 21 and just about everything that could have gone wrong did. Theaters didn’t get the trailer in time or didn’t get it at all. There was no press about it. StarWars.com posted about the re-release and mentioned the trailer on October 14, but didn’t remind fans afterward. There was no mention of it on the StarWars.com blog or on @starwars on Twitter. (At one point, I tweeted @starwars and asked why it didn’t remind people about the trailer, but got no reply.) I checked Twitter, Facebook, and various Star Wars fan sites/message boards over and over from Friday evening until Saturday night. There was barely a peep about it on TFN’s message board. There was no buzz about the trailer whatsoever. Nothing. AICN posted about it today as though it was a Bigfoot sighting. Note that it said not a single reader reported seeing the trailer.

It isn’t due to a lack of interest. I saw on my site stats that per hour views SPIKED on October 21. People wanted to know about it.

But people can’t talk about the trailer if they haven’t seen it. And if Star Wars fans–the amen choir–aren’t buzzing about it, that really should worry Lucasfilm. The question is, do they even care?

Not all of last weekend’s snafu can be blamed on Lucasfilm or Fox. Indications are the company distributing the trailer messed up. “The Three Musketeers” was a poorly-reviewed film by a poorly-regarded director that had the misfortune to open against the Paranormal Activity powerhouse franchise.

But that doesn’t change some facts, such as the aforementioned lack of promotion on or around the 21st. The official site does a pretty good job promoting Clone Wars, games, novels, and Simon Pegg’s latest flick but is AWOL when it comes to a big deal like this trailer. And it is a big deal. TPM’s success in February determines whether or not the other five will follow. Where are their priorities up there in San Francisco?

Finally on Sunday, Eric Geller posted a bootleg on his Vimeo account (which also made its way to YouTube) then linked to it on TFN. That was the way most folks got to see it before it was pulled from Vimeo and YouTube today. And it finally generated a small amount of buzz. POSITIVE buzz, and it wasn’t even in 3D.

Usually I don’t like the idea of bootlegging or pirating copyrighted material. But this time I was all for it. Why? I think part of the problem is that Lucasfilm/Fox has this backwards. Not as many people are going to pay $15 to see a 3D movie just for a trailer sight unseen. What generates trailer buzz in 2011 is the internet. Look at how the geek world lit up with the internet debut of the trailer for “The Avengers” just a few weeks ago. It’s ironic this is happening to the film that spawned the event trailer in the first place. The smart thing to do was to post the trailer on starwars.com and urge people to go see it in 3D in the theaters. As Geller tweeted today, “To summarize this whole thing: StarWars.com, get your freaking act together and post the gee-dee trailer.”

Somebody somewhere is getting paid a salary to get the word out. It shouldn’t be up to me or Eric Geller to get the world jazzed for this release. I have a job already. It’s lazy to rely on unpaid fans to do your dirty work. What’s the use of spending millions of dollars on converting these films to 3D if this is the best they can do?

I also have to wonder if this would have happened had it been TESB’s 3D trailer.

I want TPM to succeed because I want to see the whole saga back on the big screen and because I know if it fails, the media/fanboy industrial complex will make sure you and I never forget it.

So get your shiz together, Lucasfilm and Fox. Or I’m gonna sic Toby on ya!

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6 Responses to “Epic Fail: What If They Released A Trailer & Nobody Saw It (Commentary)”

  1. Mark Newbold Says:

    It is certainly frustrating, we posted it on jedi news within minutes of Eric finding it on Vimeo and was tweeting him when it was taken down. we shot across to YouTube and posted that onto our respective sites but that got shot down as well.
    It is frustrating, sites like TFN, JN and you guys should be the first to have online access, not scrabbling about like scavengers and posting dead end links.
    keep fightong the

  2. Mark Newbold Says:

    Posted too quick, was trying to say keep fighting the good fight.

  3. Dave Strohmenger Says:

    I don’t think awareness will be an issue. Yes, the first weekend was not handled correcty. But between now and February, the trailer will play in front of much bigger films than Three Musketeers. A lot of people are going to see it. Plus there will be TV spots. I’m assuming that LucasFilm will place a lot of commercials on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, so there will be lots of kids begging their parents to take them to see it.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      The first big promotional push for the Blu-Ray set was the silly May the 4th thing that fizzled, and the set went on to sell very well anyway. Perhaps, in spite of the unimpressive launch of the trailer, everything will be fine in February. We’ll just have to see.

  4. Helen Says:

    My husband saw the trailer at the Three Musketeers movie! He said it looked good! xx

  5. Bob Clark Says:

    What they should really do with the trailer is give copies to stores with 3D television sets on display and run it on a loop. Back when TPM’s second trailer came out, I watched it in a Sears display for something like an hour straight.

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