Watchmen fans threaten Fox
Well I'm not so sure how much of this is down to fans of the Watchmen comic and how much is down to fan sites picking out negative comments from their stories about the Fox versus Warner story, but apparently Watchmen fans are threatening Fox with their own backlash should they halt the release of Warner Bros. Watchmen.
According to reports fans are threatening to boycott Fox films, films which are reliant on existing fan base and fans of the comics, as well as pirating them to avoid paying the ticket cost. Of course they'll do none of these if Fox don't delay the release of Watchmen.
The story from the USA Today interviews some site editors about the story and the response is pretty much as above, and if you want to read more about the law suit, see this article and the original article on Filmstalker.
Of course the fault doesn't lie totally with Fox, sure they are the ones raising the law suit against Warner Bros and trying to get the film delayed, but equally Warner Bros don't seem to be racing about trying to solve the issue either.
Fair play to them though, they say that Fox hold no rights over the film, and the whole issue is clouded even more by the fact that Fox has left it so late to raise the law suit, hasn't it been years since it's been on the go? Hasn't it been through multiple attempts at starting it up? Until the start of this year Fox was silent.
More and more stories are coming out about Fox destroying the film-making element and concentrating on the business aspect - Mathieu Kassovitz on Babylon A.D. and Alex Proyas on I, Robot. Sure I can hear the words ringing around the Interflab, “but after all they are a business”, sure they are, and they are out to make money, but like any other business you want to make profits, but there's something else about a business everyone who touts this around forgets, the customers.
You get customers by offering a good product at a good price, but the big area that companies keep fighting for is customer retention. This is not what Fox are doing right now, business or not.
This should have been sorted out behind closed doors, but since it wasn't and has hit the open courts they should not have raised a suit to stop the release of the film, after all that's hurting the audience more than anything.
Sure the delayed release will delay the release of profit return for Warner, but they are a very big company who can absorb those costs, Watchmen is not their only product. Not just that but they are assured that when they do release it the fan base will still wait to see it, you've almost got a guarantee that they will return to watch the film despite any wait.
So whether Fox are right or not isn't really the question, their handling of this is exceptionally poor, and sure they have to concentrate on the business side but they have to remember their customers, and if they annoy them too much, they'll lose them.