No amount of money, pressure, cleverness, 'viralness', advertising, MySpace pandering, p.r., community building, or 'story' telling, etc. can save a crappy product. People don't give a flying snake.
But but but....that doesn't apply to Snakes on a Plane, does it? SoaP is going to be a crappy movie. I know it. You know it. Sam knows it.
But we're all going to see it anyway.
So at this point either Tara is right (which means we are all idiots for paying good money for what we know will be a bad movie), or Tara's wrong.
Or perhaps there's a Door #3. Maybe Tara is right, but we aren't going to see a crappy movie.
When New Line decided to embrace the buzz that bloggers were generating for SoaP, the movie went from being New Line's crappy B-movie, to our crappy B-movie. And it became our event. It became our excuse to have a party. To dress up in costumes and engage in audience participation a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. It became our meme that's going offline.
New Line's reaction to bloggers 'promoting' SoaP is the antithesis to Coke's reaction over the Mentos geyser videos. Where Coke 'didn't approve' of their customers playing with Coke, New Line saw the jokes that bloggers were making via mashup trailers and posters as being 'promotion' for SoaP. And when they embraced what the internet was doing in 'promoting' SoaP, a shift took place, and then perception became reality, and bloggers started promoting SoaP for real.
If you don't like your community's reaction to your product, do NOT tell them to change their actions, give them a reason to do so.
That's what New Line did. And that's why a very bad movie will likely break even after its first weekend.