Trolls World Tour doll recalled for a controversial button

Trolls World Tour ⭐️⭐️½

From the “What Were They Thinking?” department comes some Trolls toy news.

When designing any toy for children, especially in this day and age, some thorough testing and market research is advised. A big toy company like Hasbro should know better. Should.

The doll in question is designed to giggle when it sits upright. However, the activation button that prompts the toy to function is inappropriately placed under the doll’s skirt and between her legs. The petition, created by Jessica McMains, is addressed to Target, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers.

Hasbro Pulls “Inappropriate” ‘Trolls World Tour” Doll After Backlash – Deadline

Our grandchildren, both boys, like the trolls. They weren’t as excited by this movie as we thought, but this toy because it’s more for girls than boys wouldn’t have been on our purchase radar.

I really don’t understand how this toy made it into production. Then again, I don’t know much about making toys for children. Guessing that the designers weren’t trying to make anything inappropriate for children, but the optics suck.

Hasbro will be fine. They are doing the right thing with the recall. After all, they also make Baby Yoda toys.

Publishers Seeing Paid Subscriber Increase By Using Virtual Events – Meanwhile, Biggest Movie Theater Chains Remain Closed

Two important words for movie theater chain owners and studios: virtual events.

Recently I mentioned in a post (see: Duh – People Prefer Streaming Channels Without Ads – During Pandemic or Not) and a follow up comment that I wasn’t a fan of the New York Times blocking readers after a certain number of reads. One reader complained that it sounded like I had issues with paywalls.

I don’t.

Just don’t think this method is a business wise or most effective way to monetize by disrupting your website readers and potential subscribers. In my detailed comment reply I stated there were other creative ways to drive more subscribers to their site.

Enter virtual events.

“With the huge success we’ve had with virtual events — over a quarter of a million attendees have tuned in from over 110 countries — we’ve realized that a significant portion of our attendees were not current NYT subscribers,” said Jessica Flood, managing director, NYTLive. “We are working to engage that group over the long term in a variety of ways, including a new suite of subscriber-only virtual events launching in the coming weeks.” 

Publishers are tying virtual events to subscriptions – Digiday

By holding special subscriber-only virtual events, it drives more paid subscribers.

When we choose to monetize this site someday, virtual events will be on the menu. I’d love to watch movies with the most engaged and energetic readers and it ties into what we do on YouTube with our “just left the theater” movie reviews. One way to scale these virtual events is to do it behind a paywall.

The New York Times isn’t having movie watching sessions, no, but there are all different types of virtual events and, as the article states above, they are attractive to paid subscribers as an added benefit.

It’s all about the benefits.

Imagine if you’re the local movie theater and you want to get more people watching movies. How about holding a virtual event with a host, just like Sylvester Stallone did for Rocky recently on Facebook (picture at top) (see: WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #21 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Roku, Peacock, Shudder, DC Universe).

And it continues to bother me that movie theater chains feel like they can’t make any money while they’re closed in the pandemic. Ideas exist, but they’d rather just say “we’re waiting for the new movies to launch in July” — what happens if Tenet and Mulan are delayed? Does that mean they’d hold out on reopening in August?

Summer is going to come and go. Movie theaters need to reopen during the summer. At least one some sort of scale. Open your best performing theaters in major markets first, fine, whatever, just start reopening the locked doors.

In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping not to read more articles where the movie theater chains are whining about having no new movies to show (see: Florida Landlord Sues AMC for Rent – 7.5 million – Meanwhile, they won’t open until there are “new” movies to show?) and how they are making “almost no” revenue while closed.

Virtual events! Work out deals with studios and start hosting watch parties. AMC, Regal, somebody get on this. Maybe the independents will lead the charge (see: Independent Theaters Testing Virtual Screenings)

So many ideas for virtual events to draw people’s interest. Show us the creativity and we’ll be more willing to open our wallets.

Judging #Avatar sequels by @officialavatar Twitter Followers Makes No Sense, Sorry @eric_ital

Brobible Senior Writer Eric Ital wrote a hit piece mocking Avatar for having less than 133,000 Twitter followers and pointing out that Twitter has been in existence over 11 years.

So …?

Readers following Ital’s screed, which makes zero sense considering metrics for movie success, should probably skip over the author’s own Twitter account — but I won’t. Stay with me.

It is a curious criticism of the movie, Avatar, and its four sequels in production (all one billion dollars worth!?!). Will give it that.

We’re talking about the second-highest grossing movie of all-time, a movie whose sequel James Cameron thinks will outgross Avengers: Endgame and one of their primary social media accounts has fewer followers than BroBible! When the first movie came out, Twitter didn’t even exist — now, here we are 11 years later, and not only has a sequel yet to be released, but their Twitter feed has the following of an A24-produced indie drama (no disrespect to A24, of course, those are my fucking dudes). They don’t even own the @Avatar handle! An absolute clown show.

The Official ‘Avatar’ Twitter Account Has Less Than 125K Followers

Ital’s self-professed “one man crusade” against the movie for Twitter followers leaves me wondering how or why this would be any sort of fair metric evaluating the potential success or failure of the movie itself? Seriously, who judges movies this way?

Why would anybody judge a movie this way?

If a studio simply throws up a Twitter account and isn’t very active, they aren’t going to have that many Twitter followers. That’s reality in the world of social media follows.

The article’s author never explains how or why this sort of metric should matter in any logical way, whatsoever, because, well, it doesn’t. It’s the type of clickbait bullshit angst article that are vomited daily upon the internet. Our eyes are the toilet bowl of 2020, no thank you.

Let me try and help out Mr. Ital. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and just fill in whatever you want, followers are not a measurement of how good or bad movies have been or will ever be. At best it might represent one measurement of how good or bad marketing on a given social media service performed.

Does anybody seriously think James Cameron gives two craps about Twitter followers for Avatar? Hint: see the first sentence of his recent tweet:

Just in case you need more evidence. James Cameron’s official Twitter has over 718,000 followers, joined in January 2011 and made a mere 170 tweets.

Clearly, Cameron isn’t a Luddite. He believes in Twitter, but he doesn’t use it very often. He cared enough to sign up for it relatively early in the game because he’s an intelligent man.

Now, let’s compare to the article author’s Twitter profile, because these kinds of comparisons make just about as much sense (not!).

Given, the author isn’t one of the most famous and successful directors of all time, he’s just some random “senior writer” at an internet publication, but hey, he’s really into Twitter. He knows all about Twitter based on his flame-ridden piece. He knows how to judge Twitter as the all-knowing, all-seeing prophecy behind whether or not something is going to be good or bad based on Twitter followers.

So, he must have at least a few thousand Twitter followers himself, yes? He must have been on Twitter for years, yes? Must be heavily active and marketing his own articles (despite his own admitting that in many articles he doesn’t give a shit how many people have read them), since all this would be a justification for his business success, yes?

No, no, no.

Look, I don’t know you, Mr. Ital. You might be a great writer and 100% right that Avatar 2 and the other sequels, if we ever get to see them, will not be as successful as Cameron and company hope.

In fact, I’m a bit skeptical of Avatar sequel success myself (see: Even if Avatar 2 sucks, the Mercedes Vision Avtr looks amazing). However, I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever — not in 11+ years of Twitter existence — measure any movie’s sales potential based on social media followers. Not even with snark or lopsided humor. That’s any social media service you want to pick out and use … Twitter, Facebook, Insta, whatever.

Just for transparency, here is my Twitter account:

Now, by the article author’s logic, guess I’m godawful at Twitter, too, with my paltry 4009 followers since joining in July 2010. This isn’t my first Twitter account, either, my tech account joined even sooner (I was in on the beta of Twitter, actually, but that’s a story for another blog and another day), but this account is the one I use most these days. You can see that I do try to follow back most of those who follow me. I figure that’s the courteous thing to do.

Nevermind that I’ve made piss-all effort to grow followers or promote followers in 10 years and have made only about 700 more tweets than the Brobible article’s author, but in 9 years more time! Perhaps, Mr. Ital will have many more followers than me when he has used Twitter for 10 years, and he most certainly will have more tweets, but who cares? What does any of this mean?

Nothing. Gas tank bone dry. Septic system just pumped. Lake drained.

My point is simple, I’m OK with bashing movies for sucking if someone feels that way after seeing it. I’m even OK with bashing a movie’s marketing and promotion (is that what’s happening here?). Go ahead and bash the idea of a sequel, although a sequel for the second biggest box office success of all time does make financial and logical sense. An audience is there. It’s a big world with lots of movie idea possibilities.

But I can’t get on bashing a movie based on the number of social media followers. Unless it’s all about clickbaiting, of course. And now I’m guilty of not only taking the bait but promoting it, so double dog shame on me.

In defense of Mr. Ital, he does admit he hates Avatar. So, using hate for motivation maybe number of Twitter followers for the Avatar account does make sense. And it gave me something humorous to riff off this morning, I guess, so thank you.

I digress. This isn’t about the article author or me. Let’s focus on the movie itself. Will it be successful? Who fricking knows?! Logic would suggest that if James Cameron directs a movie about someone taking a dump in an outhouse, it will sell tickets. He’d probably shoot that movie from inside the hole with some kind of smell-o-vision tech in hyper-3D and millions would flock to watch it.

Seriously, seriously.

We haven’t seen Avatar 2 yet. We won’t get to until December 2021. If it is delayed due to the pandemic, that’s not the fault of James Cameron and company, it’s what many movies are doing these days.

The main point of this post isn’t to bash the author for hating on a movie and its associated franchise — hate away, I support any critic’s right to love or hate a film — it’s to challenge the concept of social media followers having really anything to do with a movie’s business potential. If the movie is good, there will be people with millions of Twitter followers promoting it — for free. Movies don’t absolutely need Twitter accounts or heavy tweet marketing to be successful. Yes, it helps getting social media buzz around a movie, which I think is the fundamental premise behind the criticism in the linked article.

As always, I welcome contrarian viewpoints, just please keep it civil in the comments area. I don’t want to have to call upon my small number (not my opinion, by the way, I’m grateful to have 1 interested follower) of 4,009 followers on Twitter to rough anybody up 😉

1 out of every 3 TVs Sold in United States are Roku TVs

Roku changes their home screen for the holidays – this was the screen on Halloween 2019

The next time you can go out shopping for a new TV — I know, probably not high on the list right at this moment in time — there is a 33% chance the TV you take home will be a Roku TV.

Ok, maybe that’s not an exact statistic, but of all the smart TVs being purchased in America, Roku TVs are standing out.

Roku TV, has been a standout success. In the five years since launching the platform in the U.S., Roku has grabbed a considerable share of the smart TV market: 1 in 3 smart TVs sold in the United States last year was a Roku TV.

Why More and More TV Makers Are Adopting Roku TV

Hard betting against Roku in these times. We’ve been using a Roku box for years. Haven’t bought a new TV in awhile, as we’re still using our HD 3D TV, but our next TV purchase could very well be a Roku TV.

Then again, we really, really like our current TV. It’s been a trooper and still looks great years later.

Do you currently own a Roku TV? If so, what do you think of it? Our oldest son bought a Roku TV and he loves it.

Wonder Woman being Promoted as Film for Both Sexes Equals True Empowerment

CCXP Live Stream featured Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot

A simple formula for filmmakers:

  1. Make great movies
  2. Promote with wide inclusion — for everybody — instead of exclusion

= SUCCESS

#1 cannot be understated: make great movies, make great movies, make great movies. I wish every filmmaker, regardless of sex, understood this. If your movie is great a lot of other sins can be overlooked. The cream rises…

By converse, focusing on #2 first and being exclusionary — promoting to a specific segment of the market — leads to, at best, niche results. Focusing more/primarily on agendas and messages instead of making a great movie you hope every moviegoer will love is a recipe for FAILURE. Plenty of evidence of this around, recently in fact.

Can you tell I’m just loving the Wonder Woman 1984 promotion so far? Yes!

Is it time to start promoting Wonder Woman 3 and a spinoff on the Amazonians? Sure, why not.

“We actually already know the whole story to [Wonder Woman 3] and then some because there is an Amazon [spin-off] movie, as well, and so we already have it all mapped out,” Jenkins told reporters from multiple media outlets, including Collider and Deadline. “It’s just a matter of will we change our minds and when.”

Wonder Woman 3, Amazons spinoff mapped out, director Patty Jenkins says | EW.com

I’m totally stoked to see Wonder Woman 1984 [FIRST LOOK]. It’s a 10/10 for anticipation, the film I’m most looking forward to seeing in 2020 right now. Yes, more than James Bond 25: No Time To Die [FIRST LOOK], Fantasy Island [FIRST LOOK], Coming 2 America and the half dozen or so other appealing titles coming in 2020.

Isn’t this what the women empowerment camp wants? Men being excited about films about/by women? We are!

It’s making me more excited about all DC movies including Harley Quinn inBirds of Prey, which emitted lukewarm interest in before Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½  and the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer.

Other Films Directed By Women

Yesterday, coincidentally it seemed, I came across a handy list on the cool-titled Assholes Watching Blog of female-directed movies:

Hint: this should be turned into a clonable Letterboxd list (or has somebody done that already? Link please in comments, if/when so.). Here is an example of $1 billion dollar movies in a list that can be cloned and shared. This way others can quickly and easily share and compare what movies they’ve already seen and which movies they need to add to their respective watchlists.

Fortunately, another Letterboxd user named Vanessa has already made a list of all films directed by women (including co-directors and transgender). It’s a massive list of 5,550 films of which I’ve reviewed an abysmal total of 15 😦 I’m sure I’ve actually watched many more, just have to get them added at some point. So far, everything on Letterboxed has been rewatched or watched for the first time since August 12, 2019, so my list of movies shown as watches is very incomplete.

Vanessa also offers a smaller list of 170 movies for those overwhelmed by the mega list and has made a bunch of other women in film lists worth perusal.

Now, let’s get back to the topic of better marketing films created by women. I think marketing by men or women to only one or the other is a huge mistake and covered that in greater detail with comparisons in: How To Better Promote Your Next Films, Tim Miller and Elizabeth Banks.

Charlie’s Angels (2019) Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

Unlike Charlie’s Angels ⭐️½, Wonder Woman 1984 is the marketing template for how movies should be promoted involving strong women. As a man, I don’t feel left out or alienated. I’m inspired and encouraged to go see a kick ass movie about women kicking ass. I hope the film does even more sales than Joker. We’ll find out in June 2020

The first trailer is great and surely the inevitable second trailer that comes closer to June 2020 will fill in more plot details (hopefully not too many, though, I don’t care for trailers that tell me too much about the movie).

Gal Gadot is not only gorgeous, she’s intelligent and smart and everything about her in this trailer and her interviews just increases and amplifies my interest in the film.

Excellent ET interview with Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins

Who wouldn’t like her to wrap you in the golden lasso and force you to tell the truth? Or ride in the invisible airplane? (looks like Steve Trevor and her are doing just that in the trailer). She’s a truly dominant woman that doesn’t make men — at least this man, anyway – feel it’s all being done unrealistically and/or as part of some agenda or cause. Wonder Woman is a real character to me being real in a story.

Charlie’s Angels (2019), by contrast, were three – four if you count Banks as one of many Bosleys — fakes. They were doing a bunch of fake crap, looking good doing it sure, but not divesting the viewer (at least this male reviewer anyway) in real roles. I believed the original TV series Charlie’s Angels far more than the 2019 Charlie’s Angels. Heck, give us Barrymore, Liu and Diaz in the 2000ish first reboot for more female character realism. At least we knew they were playing on the original characters. In Banks’ update the soul of the original TV series was lost. Add to that all the SJW and unnecessary woke marketing nonsense and it just put a real bad taste in my mouth before watching one second of the film.

Box office returns would indicate that this opinion was shared by others.

A similar thing has happened with The Incredible Hulk reboots. By taking out the human being — the great Lou Ferrigno – and making Hulk all CGI the soul of the character was gone. Also, pretty tough for anybody, even Edward Norton, to match Bill Bixby’s portrayal as the tortured Dr. David Banner, but that’s a whole other enchilada.

Summary

Wonder Woman 1984 is being marketed with the soul of the original comic book character and the awesome screen adaptation by Lynda Carter respected. Everybody will get on board for this marketing plan.

Kudos to everybody responsible for marketing Wonder Woman, from director Patty Jenkins to Gal Gadot and every other other person on the team — women and men.

I sincerely hope more films featuring women are marketed similarly.