Monday, September 9, 2013

Trailer Logic: Black Edition

I've started to notice that any time I've seen the trailer for the new Nelson Mandela biography, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, it's been paired back-to-back with Captain Phillips, the Somali pirate movie ... I'm not suggesting that this is deliberate, per se.  But there probably is some trailer distribution algorithm (the same algorithm that prevents the Hangover Part III red band trailer from playing before The Croods) that is lumping together Mandela, the movie about the Nobel Prize laureate head of state, with the scary African pirate movies.

I get why this happens.  It's a marketing decision and it's no surprise that it's going to be hamfisted at times.  Still, the algorithm got a little out of control before Fruitvale Station, which I caught a few weeks back and highly recommend (whenever you're in the mood for devestating).  It's the recreation of the tragic last day in the life of African American Oscar Grant.  And judging from the trailers they lumped together before the movie, the trailer gods apparently figure if you've decided to see a movie about a black man, you'd probably like to see every movie starring African Americans coming out this year.

Here, for your viewing enjoyment, is the sequence of trailers (which is only missing a Tyler Perry film -- they must still be cutting the trailer for Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas).

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Captain Phillips

Lee Daniel's The Butler

Twelve Years A Slave

Baggage Claim

So to recap, someone out there figured, "These people came to see a searing, intimate drama about a tragic miscarriage of justice ... starring black people.  They probably also like to see other movies ... starring a black people. You know, like a pirate movie or a romantic comedy ... starring black people."

No comments: