there is a huge disconnect between the music and the film industry in terms of how the publicity machine helps or hurts as we can see by contrasting the death of michael jackson with that of farrah fawcett. while fawcett’s was a drawn out ‘is she dead yet’ affair that included a well watched made for tv documentary and michael jackson’s death happened pretty suddenly, both died on the same day.
since the death of MJ, he’s sold (collectively) more than 9 million albums wordwide. and that’s just solo albums. he’s continued to capture the cover of newspaper after newspaper and magazine after magazine around the world. his family organized a public memorial so fans could get a look at his 25K gold platted casket and sunkissed kids and the albums keep selling and the family continues to court the fans.
on the other hand, actors actively hide from their fans and would never have a funeral of princess diana proportion. people haven’t run out to buy old fawcett films like ‘the burning bed.’ and even if someone could find it, would anyone be interested in a poster circa 1976 of farrah fawcett with feathered hair?
why the disconnect. because in the music industry, there’s no such thing as overexposure. because you’re selling a product. yeah, there’s a person attached to the product but in the end every t.v. appearance or mention helps a label to move more units.
it sort of doesn’t work that way with film. maybe because the actors themselves are products. we see angelina jolie everywhere. but this hasn’t helped her put more bodies into chairs at her films. her opening numbers get dismally worse. but she and brad pitt, which the guardian newspaper recently labeled the jolie/pitt/aniston industry, help sell newspapers and magazines.
but since the dynamic duo are everywhere 24-7, why shell out $12 to see their mediocre films when you can spend (in some countries) 50 cents for the ‘privilege’ of getting saucy inside information of princess diana proportion. and there in lies the problem.
how much is too much? when does overexposure set in? is it a good thing or a bad thing to be written about and talked about dailyon on E! and Eonline and perezhilton.com? it helped j.lo get down with ralph (i’ve lost my looks with male pattern baldness) fiennes in ‘maid in manhattan’ –the last j.lo film anyone bothered to see. her being on the cover 24-7 of u.s. weekly with ben affleck –spawning the bennifer industry sure helped her get more money for her acting roles (at the time) and got her a number 1 album, but it snatched ben affleck’s film career from him while he wasn’t even looking.
but hiding out doesn’t help. now affleck is totally MIA when it comes to the press and the paparazzi. nobody cares. and when nobody cares and you’re not like a character actor like dennis hopper, that’s even worse than people caring too much.
back in the 90s, i had a friend who worked with michael jackson’s publicist and she said that he actually liked being in newspapers like the national enquirer, weekly world news, and so on. he didn’t really care what was being written. he knew that that meant he still mattered.
end of part 1.