Who is the core audience of “Iron Man” the movie? Geeks. Computer hugging, email sending, twittering geeks. Geeks with big Mac Book Pros who have money to spend.
And the pied piper of the Web 2.0 geeks, Mike Arrington of TechCrunch, had invited geeks to a special pre-screening of the movie. And Mike got the theater to pre-screen by CALLING THEIR GROUP SALES LINE! And TechCrunch is really, really well read in the Web 2.0 community and even by analysts and Wall Street types. (According to Alexa.com, it’s the 1700th most read site on the net – nothing to sneeze at, and rumors have it they’re making 6 figures a month in ad revenue).
So, seeing as an influencer has decided to lead core audience into a screening of their product, which would likely have generated an additional PR storm of good pr (assuming the movie is good), Marvel has gone and shut the whole thing down. They’ve sent a cease-and-desist to Mike (a lawyer himself) telling him not to do this.Mike posted this story about 6pm pacific, about 15 minutes ago as I write this. There are already over 70 comments against Marvel on his site.
PR People – Call your Lawyers and stop the bleeding now! This is stupid. You can’t control the message anymore. Let the people see your movie when they’re scheduled to see it, and salvage what you get. You’re already looking at newspaper headlines – “Marvel tells SF Fans to wait”, “Marvel alienates core geek audience” – instead of “Iron Man gets first weekend boost from SF Twitters and bloggers gushing about movie.” Really.
Update from TechCrunch: Seems it was all just a big misunderstanding, and partly Oracle’s fault.