Arizona came through for us

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Posted by Kevin at on June 14, 2001 at 03:55:01:

Just got back from our second (and last; God bless Bob Weinstein) test screening. Went incredibly well. Let me break it down for you.

This was a non-recruited recruited screening. That means when they recruited the audience for the screening, they didn't say "Would you like to see a test screening of a movie called 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'?" (that was the approach for the San Diego screening). Now, when asked that question, folks who couldn't care less about Jay or Silent Bob and whatever they're striking back against have the opportunity to say "Fuck no. Life's too short to waste on those morons," and not attend. It stands to reason that it makes for a friendlier screening, then, because the audience that agreed to attend knows what they're in for, and are happy to see it (at least, until the movie sucks; at which point, they're no longer happy they came).

Tonight's screening was recruited as follows: "Would you like to see a test screening of a comedy coming out this summer?" So folks who said "Sure," and showed up had no idea what they were seeing in advance; which means if non Jay and Bob folks came they were plenty disappointed.

The general vibe we got from the audience going into tonight's screening was "It's 'Scary Movie 2'," or "It's 'American Pie 2'." Mosier and I were a little nervous at hearing that, because it felt like if folks were expecting those flicks and then got saddled with ours, they might turn on the flick, and the scores would plummet. Indeed, we were already told to expect a drop in scores, based on the unrecruited nature of the screening. So needless to say, hearing the audience was expecting something else made us clench our respective sphincters in preparation for the ass-reaming we imagined we were about to take.

So imagine our relief when the focus group leader stood in front of the audience prior to the start of the screening and announced that they'd be watching 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'... and two thirds of the audience let out a cheer.

Sphincters unclenched, we settled in for another delightful test.

It played incredibly well yet again. One thing that's become abundantly clear is that folks really, really like these characters (thank God; I mean, I've only spent the last eight years making movies featuring them). Yes, the scores dipped slightly (whereas we got an 87% in the top two boxes at the last, recruited screening, we got a 78% this time), but we were still well above the average score or "norm" (55%). Bob's experiment (to see if the movie would play "cold", ie - would it play as well if no one knew what they were in for?) gave him the results he was hoping for (and betting on), and he announced that we'd be opening on 2500 screens come August 24th (if the theaters will have us).

We're all very happy on this side of the pond.

In other news...

The theatrical trailer is a cock hair away from being locked and married to all the 'Scary Movie 2' prints.

The poster is also close to being locked, I'm told. I'll be seeing the final concepts later in the week.

The 'ET' piece finally ran, and I thought it was pretty good. If you haven't seen it yet, NewsAskew's got it up.

We got a really nice mention in Rick Lyman's column in the holy New York Times last Friday.

The press junket is coming up fast; at the end of the month, actually. It's being held in L.A. I think Dimension is going to start screening the flick for the critics next week, and I'm told we have our MPAA screening (to determine the flick's rating) on Friday.

Everything's moving along quite nicely.

However, one spot of somewhat bad news with a good explanation...

The trailer that was supposed to go up tomorrow night will be delayed until Monday night. The reason for this delay is because I won't be in L.A. to oversee the process like I did last time. I cut it last Thursday, and Phil and Vordo mixed it this week, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet because I've been in Minnesota for the last few days (except for today, when I flew into Arizona for the test screening).

More to the point, I've been in Eden Prairie. Yes - that same Eden Prairie where we shot 'Mallrats'. However, I'm not there on 'Rats'-related business this time.

This time I'm shooting a documentary at the behest of His Royal Badness himself, Prince.

Prince is hosting a week-long event called 'The Celebration', at which he's unveiling his latest album, 'The Rainbow Children', for a group of fans from his NPG Music Club website. He called me a few weeks back and asked if I'd come up and shoot the event. I keep telling the man that I'm not a documentarian, and that I'm REALLY not a shooter, but he liked 'Dogma' an awful lot, and felt that I'd be a good choice to make the doc, as 'The Rainbow Children' is a very spiritual project, not unlike 'Dogma'.

Prince is a really, really cool guy, incredibly smart and talented, and interesting as all get-out. I've been a fan for years, so this has been quite a thrill for me. If you would've told me a few years ago that I'd be sitting around, conversing casually with the man responsible for the Minneapolis sound, I'd've told you I had a better chance of slimming down to a lean 150 pounds. Well, I'm not 150 pounds, but I have gotten to jaw with a guy I've long considered one of the only true artists of my lifetime.

And it's been a lot of fun.

So... that's what I'm upto this week.

My life is very weird sometimes.


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