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Snakes on a Plane should have opened in March

Posted by: Burth Helm on August 21, 2006

So the much-hyped Snakes on a Plane put up tepid numbers at the box office. Though it led last weekend, it grossed just $15.3 million in three days, a far cry from the $20 or $30 million that New Line and analysts were projecting.

blog snakes pic.png

What happened? The film seemed to practically sell itself after it became an Internet phenomenon last summer, complete with fans creating their own trailers and movie posters. While the New Line marketing team did their best to stoke the Internet fire with profiles on social network Tagworld and personalized cell phone messages from Samuel L. Jackson, it wasn’t enough to turn Snakes into a blockbuster.

And you know what? Google could have told you so.

Check this out: Searches on that engine for the term “Snakes on a Plane” peaked back in March. Though Google Trends is not a scientific measure by any means, it seems to depict the fad passing by. Could New Line have done anything differently? Did they taint it by how they got involved? Or does this just show how truly impossible it is to control buzz on the Internet?

Reader Comments

Gary Bourgeault (

August 25, 2006 9:03 PM

I think part of the problem is that the Internet reflects a specific type of consumer of entertainment. The core group that had provided so much viral marketing never expanded beyond itself. So they made a lot of noise, but never entered into the mainstream.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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