For 'The Dark Knight' Warner Bros. asked users to submit their e-mail address in exchange for filling in one pixel of the first official photo of Heath Ledger as the Joker. It was pretty cool and had fanboys glued to their screens for an entire weekend. Now, the image has disappeared, only to be replaced with what seems like a "Page not found" message. Highlight the screen, however, and a new message is revealed - an entire page full of "Ha ha ha" and a few isolated letters scattered here and there. Bringing those isolated letters together reveals the message "See you in December," and speculation has been that the message is referring to the time when we'll first see the Joker in a trailer for 'The Dark Knight'. Read more here.
High profile movies are certainly becoming an experience for those who choose to involve themselves. I would rank 'The Matrix', 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' and 'Titanic' as being films which deservedly earned the title 'phenomenon' in the last decade or so for catching the publics imagination. I would contend his was based almost singularly on what was acheived within each movie. Whether it be a drive to meet the demands of a more sophisticated audience or a drive to make more money there is no doubt that advance marketing, particularly online, is being proffered as a means of letting movie makers have a role in the huge influence online word of mouth and comment can have on the fate of a movie. It strikes me as very strange that poor films such as 'Pirates 2' and 'Spiderman 3' can break world records so how such ploys will progress and how they will impact on what determines the success of a movie remains to be seen.