Are We Better Off When Critics See Movies With The Rest Of Us?

Hollywood is offering fewer and fewer pre-screenings for critics these days, especially with films that have the potential for big box office success, but not much in the way of artistic merit. Some critics are furious at being shut out, but William Arnold says that moviegoers may actually be better served. “Before the mid-’80s, films usually opened on Wednesday, and reviews were spread out through the following week… Films were not faced with a make-or-break opening weekend, and a landmark film like Bonnie & Clyde could be saved by an outbreak of enthusiastic reviews well into its run.”