News flash! Geeks talk up a geeky movie

Serenity2_1Ain’t it uncool news: The results are in from Grace Hill Media’s futuristic way of talking up movies in cyberspace: through good old-fashioned, low-ticket-item bribery. The PR firm promoted Universal Pictures’ sci-fi flick Serenity by setting up advance screenings for bloggers last month, on the condition that they agree to “post a pre-written paragraph” about the movie on their blogs—in other words, run a free ad (disguised as viral chatter) in exchange for seeing the movie early and gratis. According to Mediapost, Serenity did earn exponentially more blog posts, as measured by Technorati, than did its main opening-weekend competitor, Disney/Touchstone’s Flightplan. Of course, there is the young male geek factor to consider. Is it that surprising that a converted sci-fi TV series would create more buzz online than an abrasive-looking raging-mother movie starring Jodi Foster and a fire extinguisher? Also noteworthy: Flightplan earned more at the box office during its opening weekend.

—Posted by Gregory Solman