In a wartime letter to his parents in 1943 excerpted in the current Esquire, Lt. John F. Kennedy referred to an NCO “who always seemed to have the feeling that something was going to happen to him…and when fellows get this feeling, strangely enough, they always seem to be the ones who do get it.”

As soon as I read this I thought of film distributors possessed by this very same attitude when it comes to opening certain films. They know the flick in question is doomed, and everything in their marketing effort seems to acknowledge this. I sensed this attitude from the Sony people when they were plugging Did You Hear About The Morgans?.

They seem to be saying, “We’re just going through the motions, okay? We’re buying ads, sending the stars out on interviews, putting up wild posters, etc. But we know you’re not going to want to see this thing on opening day…okay, some of you are…but the best we can hope for is a Netflix rental six months from now. You know it, and we definitely know it. But we have to spend the money anyway.”