As Kevin Smith’s Clerks II has continued to struggle at the box office ever since its release, I’ve been waiting with interest to see if this MP3 audio commentary scheme of his might be able to boost ticket sales and generate repeat business. I’m interested, of course, not because I’d actually sit through the movie again myself, but just because this would be the first time anyone released an audio commentary track for a movie while it was still in theatres, and encouraged viewers to bring an iPod to the movies with them. You’ve gotta give him props for trying something new.
Unfortunately it looks like Smith’s forward-thinking plans were all but quashed by the majority of theatre owners, who told The Weinstein Co that if they decided to release the audio commentary track, they’d start pulling the movie from screens. Apparently they were worried that it would distract regular audiences if commentary listeners were laughing at different times, etc. I guess they have a point, but it still seems kind of lame to try and block something like this when it might actually help sell more tickets.
There’s an outside chance the commentary track may still get released as an MP3 (it was already recorded a while ago), but it will only happen when the movie gets down to playing in a low number of theatres. On the other hand, the Clerks II DVD has just been announced with a December 5th release date, and since a Kevin Smith commentary track is definitely one of its selling points, it might be a bad move to start giving that away for free right about now. All I have to say is DAMN THE MAN.» Related Link: News Askew