It’s hard out here for a pimp and it’s a hard summer in the offing for smaller, non-franchise films. Movies like Death at a Funeral, Stardust and other non-blockbusters are all vying for the attention of an audience that is constantly blasted by ads for bigger films.
To break out from their larger siblings, more niche films work on cultivating word-of-mouth from the festival circuit and preview screenings. It’s interesting to note the difference in attitude between Funeral director Frank Oz’s “I’m a filmmaker, not a marketer” comment and Stardust director Matthew Vaughn’s obsessive calculating of where his film falls.
Some of these non-blockbuster films are helped by the fact that they have bigger stars in them but even so they risk being drowned out by the sheer noise volume generated by the summer tent-pole features.