‘Borat’ buzz befuddles

Cohen pic may follow in the footsteps of 'Snake'

Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie?

Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is trailing the also-anemic audience interest ratings for “The Santa Clause 3” — has already raised concern that the pic will follow in the footsteps of “Snakes on a Plane” in failing to convert intense niche interest into a big box office grosses.

Bloggers came in for most of the criticism when analysts were looking to where to place “Plane” blame, but how about all the mainstream media outlets that lavished coverage on the creature feature?

Entertainment Weekly put snakes and Samuel L. Jackson on its cover (Borat had the mag’s cover last week) and TV shows ranging from NBC’s “Today Show” to Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” gave the pic tons more airtime than a typical film would warrant.

“Borat” is now getting similar treatment, aided by a continuing storyline of the Kazakh government’s awkward campaign to distance the nation from the pic and stunts by Cohen, such as a trip to the White House to invite President George W. Bush to screen the film.

The L.A. Times has already started rolling packages on the pic usually reserved for titles like “Star Wars” or “Spider-Man.”

Like “Snakes,” all the free media for “Borat” will likely inflate the grosses for what would otherwise be a cult film. But it casts into doubt whether on their own, the news media — like the blogs — have the ability to push a pic from obscurity to blockbuster status.

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    Forget the blogs. How much are mainstream media outlets worth these days when it comes to promoting a movie? Well ahead of its Nov. 3 release, 20th Century Fox’s “Borat” has become a sensation in some quarters. But weak tracking so far — two weeks out from its opening, the Sacha Baron Cohen satire is […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content