Twitter: The New (and Much Faster) Word of Mouth

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" opened at 12:01 a.m. today. And the critics are already weighing in—on Twitter. The 140-character reviews are quickly changing the way "word of mouth" works. The Twitterati can tweet their response to a film while sitting in the theater. This is having a dramatic effect on the box office. Sasha Baron Cohen's film Bruno drew $14 million on the day of its release, but was panned on Twitter and sales plummeted 40 percent. Sharon Waxman of The Wrap, and a Takeaway contributor, joins us with a look.

"Word-of-mouth flies so fast and grows so exponentially—because of Twitter particularly—that they can't control the message for three whole days. Now it's basically one day. The veil comes off the movie and they're toast if the movie is not good."
—Sharon Waxman of The Wrap on the Twitter challenge for the movie business

Here's the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, tweet @thetakeaway with your thoughts:

Guests:

Sharon Waxman

Hosted by:

Farai Chideya

Comments [1]

A. Nonnie Muss

Why is this news? Once upon a time, box office numbers weren't considered news for anyone outside the movie industry. Now they are presented as news for everyone, with the idea that it's a way to make everyone who tunes in feel like an insider. But really it's just free advertising - it is a way to get the names of big-budget films repeated over and over again for free. I expect to see that sort of thing masquerading as news in tabloids and gossip magazines but I expect more of public radio.

Jul. 15 2009 08:36 AM

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