"Potential what?" I hear you ask...well I'll type my thoughts out and let you answer that yourselves :)
Recently I noticed something...it seems most places you go, no matter really where you are there's always someone trying to sell you a movie. What am I talking about? The advertising for the movie Bridesmaids.
It's everywhere, it's available on DVD and Blu Ray, Movies on Demand (PayTV), as well as download for rent or to own. Supermarkets are trying to sell it, department stores, internet stores, video libraries...you get junk mail where the cover of it alone takes up about 1/3 of the page, it's sponsored on websites like YouTube and the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) and I bet it's been promoted on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Considering the movie costs typically about $20 at most of the places selling it I believe everyone actively promoting it are running a significant risk seeing as how competitors doing exactly the same thing they are.
I doubt I'll ever buy that particular movie, if I do chances are someone will show it to me, or I'll rent it... preferably when it gets cheaper to rent seeing how I'm not running out to see it. This means all the promotions and advertising was wasted on me, buy a lot of different businesses.
The philosophy behind advertising and persuading a consumer aside...
What I don't like is the grade of film that has this financial risk associated to it. Discs, cases, covers, posters, junk mail (printed catalogs - paper, ink, graphical designers, printers, delivers), transporting and someone putting them up for display/sale...all for the price of $20. How many people do they expect to buy it for $20 before copies end up in bargain bins for $5 a pop?
I can envision that this movie also has some product placement, which I have written about previously about a somewhat similar production The 40 Year Old Virgin
The budget for the project has been estimated at $32.5 million (IMDB) and has generated $281 million worldwide as of September 4 2011 (IMDB).
I can't help but think of how that money could have been spent, and the time and effort people put into it from the beginning the the end of production, distribution and sale.