Could The Word 'Porno' Destroy Weinstein's One Hollywood Hope?The Weinstein Co. has a few issues at the moment. Including—but not limited to!—the hasty departure of top executives; an ongoing struggle with Bravo over Project Runway, the company's strongest TV property; and a consistently weak outlook for Harvey Weinstein's myriad businesses. The one thing Weinstein's investors really have to look forward to is the possible success of the company's upcoming Kevin Smith/ Seth Rogen flick, Zack And Miri Make A Porno. But has the Weinstein Co. managed to screw up the film's prospects before it's even released? Last month the MPAA banned the movie's poster for being too raunchy. That was a huge red flag. The company responded by thumbing its nose with a cute little riff on the controversy, and continued on its merry way, marketing-wise. But ads for the film were still getting banned across the country. Now it seems to be sinking in that the very title of the movie could prevent it from being properly marketed and advertised, dooming it to box office failure:
The public outcry has left the film's director and distributor flabbergasted. "I can't believe this is happening in the 21st century," says Mr. Smith. "When was the last time you saw a porno with the word porno in the title?" "Anyone who takes the title seriously is missing the comedic aspect of the movie," says Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of Weinstein Co. "This is the one time I don't want controversy. This is a big, broad, fun Seth Rogen comedy," he says. "Hopefully people will see the movie for what it really is."
Do we detect a touch of nervousness in Harvey's quotes? As dumb as American puritanism is, you'd think that a company in Weinstein Co.'s position would go out of its way to make sure that a promising film actually succeeds financially. If Zack And Miri tanks because of a careless title... well, let's just hope it doesn't. For Harvey's sake!