The Times goes all Andy Rooney on us today in a story about movie titles that are just too damn long. With nostalgia for the days of Speed, Armageddon, and Twister, the Times lists some upcoming movies that take just as long to type as they’ll take to see, including Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. But long movie titles aren’t just a hassle to those people who have put them on marquees, they may also be bad for the bottom line.
“The more a title describes the story, the less effective it generally is,” said Dennis Rice, a marketing consultant who has held top positions at Miramax, United Artists and Disney. “You want people to know what they’re getting. But you also want to leave them wanting to learn more.”
Then there’s the issue of saying the name of the film during commercials. If simply identifying the thing takes up twenty seconds, that only leaves ten seconds to get the audience excited. That’s what the Times says, at least.
We’re not so sure they’re giving movie titles a fair shake. Sure they’ve found a lot of long ones, but out this weekend are movies like MacGruber and Holy Rollers. In fact, there are more one-word movie titles (Centurion, Takers, Killers, Twelve, Predators, Inception, Salt, Beastly, Marmaduke, Splice, Ondine, Cyrus) out this summer than absurdly long ones. But which of these is worse? We’re not sure. Someone ask Andy Rooney.