The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

GARFIELD'S EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENT?
Garfield: The Movie opens in a theater near you tomorrow.

Yes, I know. You need but half a brain to see the giant sucking action coming from this abomination. Helpful hint: Anytime a film comes out that has "The Movie" appended to the title, it's a pretty good bet that the product reeks. It's like they have to reinforce the idea that this is, in fact, a movie--like it's not obvious enough. I suppose they're covering the bases for those consumers who might get confused and think that they're buying tickets for a comic-strip reading...

Anyway, regardless of the quality of the fat cat's screen debut, I have to ask: Why is this being released tomorrow, June 11th, when the Garfield character's birthday is next week, on Saturday the 19th? Wouldn't it make a lot more marketing sense to make the release date next Friday, so the premiere and the birthday come at least close to coinciding?

It seems like a missed opportunity. Of course, if it has a fantastic opening week, they can incorporate the birthday celebration into the following weekend's marketing hype: "Go see Garfield on his birthday!" But I don't know why they didn't opt for more of a bang from that on an opening week. I'm guessing that whatever movies are opening next weekend are somehow direct threats to Garfield's box office.

How is it that I know when Garfield's birthday is? Well, it's easy enough to find out. But I'll confess to the geeky fact that I have it memorized. Why? Because my own birthday is June 17th, only two days before Garfield's. And insofar as we are contemporaries--I'm only seven years older--I got a big kick out of the proximity when I was a kid. Also, I had a friend in school whose birthday was June 19th, and he got an even bigger kick out of sharing a birthday with the cartoon cat; that probably rubbed off on me.

So to sum up, when they make a big Hollywood movie about me, they'd better release it on my birthday. And hype the hell out of that fact, too.