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Why didn't Knight and Day catch on with audiences?

While KNIGHT AND DAY won't go down as the biggest bomb of the summer so far (JONAH HEX anyone?), it was a movie that should've been wildly successful (I had it predicted as one of the ten biggest movies of the summer) but wound up with disappointing returns. So what went wrong?

The LA Times has an interesting article with a marketing executive the day after his last movie failed; an interview that is a rarity in Hollywood. For as many people want to take credit when a movie is successful, just as many are trying to pass the buck on failures. But Fox co-president of marketing Tony Sella went on the record trying to explain why a movie that had all the right elements - A-list stars, a big budget, a great release date and a trailer before the biggest movie of all-time - went wrong.

The knee jerk reaction is that Tom Cruise has lost his star power but that argument is for the tabloids and people who don't know much about the movies. VALKYRIE, which opened at the height of the Tom Cruise "controversy" and was a much tougher sell, actually made more money on its opening weekend than KNIGHT AND DAY did. People will still turn out for a Tom Cruise film, they just didn't seem to connect with his latest film.

Sella isn't exactly sure why the film didn't catch on but admits that the original trailer, attached to prints of AVATAR, confused audiences. Efforts to correct the campaign wound up backfiring and swinging the confusion even further. All along he maintains that Fox was trying to market an adult-oriented action film in the summer but somewhat ironically, 44% of the audience was made up of people under the age of 25.

Was it the poster, which curiously featured no photos of either Tom Cruise or Cameron Diaz? Was it the film's title, which never conveyed a message about the film? Are audiences tired of A-list movie stars? As Sella talks about it, even he can admit: "Honestly, I don't know."

So what do YOU think? As the KNIGHT AND DAY marketing campaign unfolded before you, what were your impressions? Did you want to see it? Did you not want to see it? And if so, why?

Extra Tidbit: My favorite line from the article: "[This is] why movie marketers are often a little tightly wound."
Source: LA Times

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