Great moments in movie promotions: ‘The Kite Runner’

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Paramount Vantage sent out a press release today hyping a new type of banner ad that will allow people to buy their movie tickets right there in the banner, without having to leave whatever website they’re on. It is kind of cool, and it is kind of convenient. But the movie they’re launching it with is “The Kite Runner,” and here’s what they say about it:

“… transactional banners to promote and sell tickets for their up coming blockbuster movie The Kite Runner…”

We are going to overlook the miscasting of “upcoming” as two words and instead obsess over the word “blockbuster.” There are two amusing reasons why this is the wrong word.

– Most elementally, how can a film be a “blockbuster” (defined as “major box office hit”) when it hasn’t opened yet? With a cumulative domestic gross of $0, it’s actually more of a flop.

– Even after “The Kite Runner” is released, it stands absolutely no chance of being a “blockbuster.” It is a quiet film, mostly in Dari (a variant of Persian spoken in Afghanistan), and it’s about little boys who fly kites until one of them gets raped. I promise you, there is not a single person at Paramount Vantage delusional enough to think it will be a huge financial hit. It’s a prestige picture, the kind that’s released in the hopes of getting awards and maybe making $50 million if it’s lucky. It might be a “sleeper,” it might be a “sensation,” it might be a “critical darling.” (Actually, no, it won’t be that.) But it will not be a “blockbuster.” Sorry!

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