Titans Will Wrath

Selective perception and marketing the new Clash of the Titans sequel.

Apparently, they’ve made a sequel to Clash of the Titans, called Wrath of the Titans. That’s a good thing, since not watching the first one left me with so many unanswered questions.

Why is the existence of a completely unnecessary sequel to an unnecessary remake so interesting to me? It’s because I’m preternaturally sensitive to marketing, but I still had absolutely no idea that this movie was coming out. Thinking back over the past couple of weeks, I can now remember seeing posters at bus stops, a billboard, and 15-second blipverts for the movie on television. But I thought every one of them was advertising the DVD or Blu-Ray release of the Clash of the Titans movie.

Logically, that doesn’t make sense; that movie came out two years ago. I already suffered through its ad campaign, and probably already lived through the campaign for the pay-per-view and DVD release.

But the fact that the ads for the sequel are so similar to the ads for Clash of the Titans — not to mention that the titles are so similar — along with my assumption that the last one tanked at the box office — it didn’t; according to IMDB it made more than twice its budget in theatrical release alone — combined to make me believe that the new movie just didn’t exist.

It’s like the experiment on change blindness above, or another widely-imitated study on change blindness by Daniel Simons and Daniel Levin, or the well-known experiment of selective attention by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris (the one with the basketball players).

My brain simply refused to accept the existence of a sequel to Clash of the Titans.

Also Immortals is apparently not a part of this franchise, but it is getting its DVD release ad campaign right now.

A few weeks ago I was given a run-down of all the Fast and the Furious movies, in order, with the (supposedly) distinguishing feature of each. Those movies seem to break every rule of marketing, not just by assuming people can tell the difference between “Fast and Furious” and “The Fast and The Furious” but also by assuming people can tell the difference between Jason Statham, Paul Walker, and The Rock. I’m amazed that it works at all, much less that it makes tons and tons of money.

I just have to gawk at it in wonder, as it defies everything I know about the universe. I also have to wonder why they needed to retitle The Avengers to Avengers Assemble in the UK, fearing comparisons to the British TV series (or the execrable movie), when it’s clear that distinctive titles don’t mean a damn thing anymore.

Another interesting, impossible-to-believe fact: YouTube comments can sometimes be helpful. I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise that Professor Simons in the above video changes his shirt color as he’s being interviewed.

3 thoughts on “Titans Will Wrath”

  1. Is the removal of the ghost dog picture and the new title font on your blog tied into this change blindness experiment, or are they unrelated? Also, how does the addition of horrible 3D after-the-fact to Clash of the Titans affect perceptions (besides permanently scarring the viewer, which I can assure you happened to me)?

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