Movie Mom

Movie Mom


What does “Not Screened for Critics” mean?

posted by Nell Minow

I hear there is some sort of sporting event going on this weekend. So it makes sense that studios decided it would not be a good time to release big-budget movies with hopes of big box office. If Sunday will be devoted to Superbowl XLII, much of the potential theater-going audience will be at home. I got that.

But I still don’t understand why that means that the studios did not let critics see three of the four new releases in time to write reviews. Movies not screened for critics are called “cold opens” because they open without any reviews, which means no exclamation-point-studded blurbs for ads. Jessica Alba has been everywhere promoting the thriller “The Eye,” but they did not show it to critics. There are ads all over television for the comedy “Strange Wilderness,” starring Steve Zahn, from Adam Sandler’s production company. But no blurbs from critics because no one has seen it. And what possible reason could there be to keep critics (except those from LA and NY) away from the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert film? Are they afraid we’ll give away the surprise ending? (She’s both! It’s a wig! And it’s in 3D!) Here is a clip of the concert film, which is more than critics got to see.



  • Christian Toto

    Lately, these cold openings have hit it fairly big at the box office (“Meet the Spartans” is the latest example). Which means we’ll see more cold openings in the weeks to come.

  • Mike

    One word. Teenagers. For the most part, they support movies, and for the most part, they don’t know what is a good movie and what isn’t. Also, prices have gone up a lot, so it doesn’t take much for a movie to pull in a few million bucks.
    If you ask me, there should be some type of law against “cold openings”. If a studio is dumb enough to take a script, then they should have to show it to critics, it’s that simple.

Previous Posts

New Web Series: That's Racist! with Mike Epps
I'm a big fan of Mike Epps, and am excited about "That's Racist!," his new web series on AOL. It is a provocative look at racism and stereotypes. Are Asians bad drivers? Are Jews cheap? Do African-Americans all like fried chicken? These and other stereotypes are explored by experts and people ins

posted 8:00:40am Feb. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.