We have good news to report on the subject of movie studios interacting with online film critics!
I mentioned last week how Fox has been particularly gun-shy lately, inviting print press to early screenings while making onliners wait until the night before a movie opens to see it. Reports among my colleagues across the nation were that the studio was leery of reviews being posted early, which some online critics are notorious for.
I neglected to mention, however, that the Chicago Film Critics Association, tired of the second-class treatment and fed up with being ignored whenever they tried to have a discussion with Fox, recently staged a bit of a protest. They announced that while they would continue to review Fox’s movies, they would not do any other Fox-related articles like interviews or feature stories. Studios count on those stories for extra publicity, and since they’re almost always positive (or at least neutral), they’re less risky than reviews.
Well, Fox blinked and said they’d start being nicer to the Chicago Film Critics Association. (If you’re wondering, Roger Ebert is not a member of that group. He don’t need no group to have clout.) [Edit: The source I read that said that was wrong. Ebert is a member of the group. He still don't need no group to have clout, though.] The CFCA, for its part, wrote into its bylaws that any CFCA member who violates the no-early-reviews rule is subject to discipline. So now everybody’s happy, sort of.
But there was still the ongoing concern that online critics in general were getting shafted.