What’s the deal with the Wackness backlash?

thewacknessposter.JPGI’ve been trying to figure out what is behind this push by some bloggers in the movie community to pile on Sony Classics as a result of their buying The Wackness at Sundance. This movement, summed up nicely by Cinematical, seems to be centered around the idea that Sony’s specialty arm will absolutely muck up the marketing and distribution of the movie, resulting in it never being seen by a wide audience.

And we’re basing this on what exactly?

I get that right now Fox Searchlight is seen by many (including, to be honest, me) as probably the best of the minor majors, meaning specialty arms of major studios. They’re having a really good streak right now that includes Once, The Savages, Juno, Waitress and The Darjeeling Limited. You could even stretch back to Little Miss Sunshine and others if you wanted to.

But what exactly has Sony Classics fouled up? I’m not sure why this movie in particular is causing such outrage. I hear that people think it won’t give the movie the support it needs but isn’t that true of about 90 percent of the independent films out there?

There are so many movies – from a wide swath of studios – that don’t get the advertising support they need. (I’ll save you all from another round of “engage, don’t advertise but assume that it would go here.) I don’t think Sony Classics is exactly alone in this and I don’t think their marketing of The Wackness will be any different from previous efforts.

So let’s settle down and be a little more constructive in how we think Sony Classics could do a good job of promoting The Wackness instead of lamenting their eventual winning of the rights to distribute the movie.