Today's LAT delves into the marketing dilemma that Warner Bros. faces in selling its possibly homosexual box office hero to America: Should they hop on their generously muscled, spandex-clad Superman's shoulders and parade through Boys Town, or would it be wiser to book Brandon Routh on TRL to make out with Jessica Alba? Reports the Times:
But four of the movie marketing executives, all of whom declined to speak on the record, said gay "Superman Returns" interest presented two potential box-office problems. First, teenage moviegoers, especially those in conservative states, might be put off by a movie carrying a gay vibe; among some teens, these executives agreed, saying something "is gay" is still the ultimate put-down. Second, the attention threatens to undermine the film's status as a hard-edged action movie, making it feel softer, more romantic, and thus less interesting to young ticket buyers who crave pyrotechnics. [...]
Movie studios, [Washington marketing and public relations firm owner Bob] Witeck said, "would love nothing more than to have buzz in [gay and lesbian] neighborhoods where people go to the movies a lot." But a company pitching something like beer narrowly to gay and lesbian drinkers faces a possible backlash. "If you're the gay beer, you're not everybody's beer," said Witeck, whose firm is not working on "Superman Returns."
It's a conundrum that we're sure has caused divineness in the studio's marketing department. Every time an open-minded staffer blurts out, "But the gays have so much disposable income and love the movies! We need to tap that!", another, more conservative co-worker points to the "If you're the Gay Superman, you're not everybody's Superman" banner stretched across the conference room, knowing that another long night of arguing over how much superbulge to show on the one-sheet awaits.