question of the day: Is the *idea* of movies now more important than the movies themselves in entertainment media?

Noel Murray at A.V. Club recently made a good point about what movie coverage has turned into of late:

[T]he glut of coverage of trailers, casting notices, and the like has helped foster a sense that the movies don’t matter as much as the idea of the movies. Entertainment-media coverage runs the risk of becoming like sports reporting (where “What’s going to happen in tonight’s game?” is starting to outpace highlights and analysis) and political reporting (where “What do the pundits think about the candidate’s speech?” gets more attention than whether the claims in that speech are true). Already, some movie-lovers regularly lash out against bad reviews—and sometimes even good reviews—of movies they haven’t yet seen. They make up their minds when they see the posters and the commercials. Everything else is mere formality.

I’ll add that all the press that box-office results get contributes to the feeling that covering movies feels more like covering a horse race than anything else. Huge chunks of the media — mainstream and indie and fan — seem more concerned with guessing box office results and checking themselves for accuracy than whether the movies themselves are any good. I’d say we’re already past “runs the risk”: we’re there.

What do you think? Is the idea of movies now more important than the movies themselves in entertainment media?

Thanks to Gensing for the heads-up on the link.

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