Thoughts on the “Drive” trailer lawsuit As sometimes happens, I commented on someone else’s blog (in this case, David Poland’s The Hot Blog) and what was supposed to be a random bit or two turned into a mini-essay. So for those so inclined, here is my ‘official essay on the Drive lawsuit’. Oh, here is the actual complaint for those who want details that I don’t feel like repeating. And try not to laugh when attorney Martin H. Leaf calls Nikki Finke a “respected film critic and “Hollywood insider”. Anyway, I do have some reviews up later this week, so apologies for the somewhat second-hand content. Enjoy.

It’s no secret I kinda hated Drive (review 01 and 02), but I did not even watch the trailer before seeing it, so one cannot conclude that the low (and highly unscientific) Cinemascore grade is directly related to the marketing (IE – majority opinion aside for the moment, it could just be that it’s not a good movie). I didn’t watch the trailer before seeing the movie (I had correctly heard that it was spoiler-filled), but if I had and thought the movie looked good based on the trailer, would I have a cause of action? Most trailers technically make the movie ‘look good’. If the studios have a bad movie, is merely advertising that film in a way that makes it look good a case for fraud?

If a trailer successfully makes a bad movie seem like a good one (like the second action-packed trailer to the 1998 Avengers, for example), is there cause of action? The Box received an ‘F’ from Cinemascore over opening weekend. Does that mean that anyone who bought a ticket on the basis that the trailer made the movie look good now has a cause of action? Is there a cause of action if a trailer contains a number of scenes that aren’t in the final cut of the film? That’s false advertising, right?

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