It seems the prevalence of (you guessed it) Twitter is putting pressure on Hollywood's age-old tradition of green-lighting any script that's title ends in a number or that can be described using the words "heart-warming" or "Will Smith." It used to be that if a movie sucked, word of mouth would get out in a week or so and your movie would tank... after the public had bought a few million tickets on opening weekend.
Word of mouth, much like herpes in a hot tub, inevitably spread. But it took time. And that buffer zone used to allow even the crappiest of Police Academy sequels to survive through their opening weekend, before everybody met at the water cooler on Monday to talk about how this one didn't even have Steve Guttenberg. And that was still long enough for the movie to rake in more money than you will ever see in your lifetime.
If you could harvest the fury generated from that statement, you could use it to power a city.
Now, Twitter users are changing all that. Because no matter how omnipresent your ad campaign is, armchair reviewers can now gauge the level of "fail" or "gay" in your movie and have it out to the masses in a matter of hours. Some of them probably have their 140 character reviews up before the opening credits have finished.
As a result, movie studios are seeing a massive drop in box office of crappy movies, not after the first week, but after the first day. The disappointing Jack Black/Michael Cera comedy Year One is a great example. When it hit theaters in June of 2009 critics hated it, but fans lined up on opening night to see it anyway. It's Jack Black! It's Michael Cera! How can it not be awesome?
The numbers tell the story: First night, $8.5 million. Second, $6.5. Third, $4.7. It just kept plummeting from there, as vigilant tweeters spread the word Paul Revere-style, to keep their fellow citizens from getting screwed out of eight bucks.
Jesus Christ, has this... has this been an entire article about the Internet being used for good? What is this, Jaynestown?
For more ways the old guard is getting schooled, check out our recap of The Year The Geeks Took Over and our look at 6 Technologies That Don't Know They're Dead.
And swing by Cracked's Top Picks to see what we're laughing at on the Web.
And don't forget to follow us on Facebook to get your daily Cracked fed straight to your brain.