May 28th, 2010
02:12 PM ET

Lionsgate keeping 'Killers' from critics

As evidenced by a number of recent releases - “Transformers,” anyone? - a movie doesn’t have to rely on solid critical reviews in order to turn profit at the box office. If fans want to see it, they’ll pay for the ticket, whether critics say it's garbage or not.

And, as we saw with “The Blind Side,” word of mouth is just as important these days – critics were middling on Sandra Bullock’s vehicle – which ended up winning the actress her first Oscar – but the social media buzz was strong, and so was the box office gross.

Lionsgate is hoping that they can accomplish something similar with “Killers,” starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher as newlyweds who find out their next-door neighbors are assassins aiming to kill them. The movie opens June 4, but Lionsgate isn’t screening the movie for critics.

Typically, a movie that’s kept from the purview of film reviewers suggests that the film is probably a bomb, but Lionsgate said in a statement that they’re simply trying to capitalize on the power of Twitter, Facebook and the like.

“We want to capitalize on the revolution in social media by letting audiences and critics define this film concurrently... In today's socially connected marketplace, we all have the ability to share feedback instantly around the world,” the studio said Wednesday. “In keeping with this spirit, Lionsgate and the filmmakers want to give the opportunity to moviegoing audiences and critics alike to see ‘Killers’ simultaneously, and share their thoughts in the medium of their choosing. We felt that this sense of immediacy could be a real asset in the marketing of ‘Killers.’ ”

Interesting theory. Surely you've seen the promotions for this by now - are you planning on seeing “Killers” no matter what, or does the lack of critical reviews raise a red flag that this one may be worse than “The Ugly Truth”?

Filed under: movies

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. eric

    They know if the critics pay to go see it instead of having a free prescreen, at least they'll get a few dozen in paid attendance. This is a direct to dvd that mistakenly found its way to the big screen....

    June 4, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Christine

    I saw this movie years ago it was called True Lies!!! Hollywood is running out of ideas. I think they know it's a bomb already. I usually go see movies if I like the actors and if the previews look interesting. I don't go off what critics say. If the movie looks mediocre than I wait for it to come out on video or cable...why waste $30.00.

    June 3, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cheap in NC

    I avoid reviews for movies that I know I'm going to see. Otherwise, I look at metareviews because I'm too cheap to waste money on generally agreeably crappy movies.

    May 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    "...letting audiences and critics define this film concurrently..." Yeah, that sounds like code for: 'let's try and get one good weekend out of this film before everyone finds out it sucks.'

    May 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kate Johnson

    I have zero interest in what movie critics have to say about a movie. There opinion is no more valid than anyone else's. Many times a critic has panned movies I've really enjoyed and loved movies I thought were dogs.

    May 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Becky Rivenburgh

    I don't pay too much attention to critics and no, based on the few previews I have seen, will not be going to see the movie. Nothing Ashton Kutcher has done has impressed me and won't see Katherine Heigl movie unless Seth Rogin in it as well.

    May 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jocko

    Havent we seen this plot line like 1000 times.... to boring actors... one not veru loved the other fill of themselves.. what not to love about this movie........

    May 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Head Diva In Charge

    I generally don't like this type of movie, but it actually looks really funny. Critics don't shape what I go see, and I think that goes for a lot of people.

    May 30, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. ella jay

    i don't decide on whether to see a movie simply based upon critical reviews. however, i do make those decisions based uponwhether4 i think the lead actors can act. needless to say, i will not be going to see "Killers". Kutcher is mildly entertaining, but not worth my money to see; Heigl should shortly drop out of sight and we won't have to hear about her any longer.

    May 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WJH

    I haven't seen anyone say this is similar to "True Lies". There's probably a weak twist in it so it differs from that movie, but otherwise it looks the same. But probably not nearly as good as True Lies was.

    May 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JDawg1

    This looks just like that other bomb on the horizon, "Knight & Day".

    May 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lynn

    Ashton Kutcher isn't really the action adventure type. He's more of a romantic comedy type. I wouldn't waste the cost of a movie ticket to see it. I may get it from one of those $1 a night vending machines, but at this point it's really low on my 'to see' list. Really low.....

    May 29, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    Katherine Heigel is in it, of COURSE it's a bomb!

    May 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jay G

    I'll watch it. Kutcher is typically pretty funny. I'm not a huge Heigl fan (over actor and not nearly as hot as she thinks she is), but whatever.

    I agree with David though. I don't care what critics think. Actually, that's not entirely true. I'll usually look for the geeky artsy looking folks and see what their opinion is of a movie and if they hate it, I'll probably love it. Most movie critics wouldn't know humor if it smacked 'em in the face.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sean

    so this is the sequel to mr. & mrs. smith eh?

    May 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. David

    I could care less what critics think of movies. To me, their opinion is just that, their opinion. People have different tastes, we like what we like. I've seen movies that received raving reviews by critics, only to hate the movie and I've watched movies they have blasted and enjoyed them. Honestly, who cares what critics think?

    May 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Khristina

      Well- I would say you care...

      You say: "I could care less"

      So- you must care to some degree if you are capable of "caring less"...

      FYI next time you decide to state your opinion... I'm betting you "couldn't care less" about being incorrect. LOL 😉

      May 28, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • brooklynbl

      David, I agree. Khristina-get a life.
      If I don't care what the critics say and that is why I don't read what the critics say. They have their own opinion and so do the millions of viewers. Why would anyone read what a critic has to say about a movie? It is one individuals opinion. See the movie or not but make your own decision.

      May 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |

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