Tighter than Kim Kardashian's prenup and possibly just as viciously fought, MTV's 2012 Movie Brawl finally closed voting at 5 p.m. today. The result, debated and clawed over throughout Twitterland, Facebook and the blogosphere, is now in: The battle royale that was Cosmopolis v The Hunger Games is over - and Cosmopolis won!
After more than 3 million votes, Cosmopolis swung the day with a decisive 53.78 % win over the 46.22 % managed by The Hunger Games (THG). Earlier rounds before the two-film face-off included: Ridley Scott's Prometheus, Daniel Radcliffe's Woman in Black, Bel Ami (RPattz again), Dark Knight Rises, Snow White and The Huntsman, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and even Breaking Dawn Part 2. But eventually the final contenders came down to THG and the leading man of the Twilight Saga franchise - Robert Pattinson. But, of course, only one movie can rule them all. And, as it turns out - that movie was David Cronenberg's highly anticipated Cosmopolis.
The road to the top wasn't pretty though. Closer than close percentages between Cosmopolis and THG saw both films slug it out for front position with THG leading a lot of the time, until fierce voting by RPattz's fanbase forced a 180. Figures hovered around the 48.5 to 51% mark for most of the brawl. 24 hours before the final day of the contest, Cosmopolis malingered in sorry second to THG, holding at 48.82 % at 10 p.m. (ET) while TGH led the way at 51.18%.
But by today's final countdown, less than 11 hours later, THG's lead was clearly fading. Today at 06:25 a.m. (ET) Cosmopolis pushed up to 49.58% while THG hung on at 50.42 %. Then, today, less than 6 hours later, at midday (ET), Cosmopolis high-kicked into the lead at 52.24 %, while THG held at 47.76%. Two and a half hours before MTV rang the bell, at 2:30 p.m. (ET), Cosmopolis's lead was well established at 53.14 % with THG flagging at 46.86%. Then, a final push by Pattinson fans drove the lead up to 53.78% - and only one was left standing.
Josh Horowitz of MTV gives Cosmopolis actor Paul Giamatti the news.
Yup, it was one hell of a fight. But while the question MTV's movie brawl asked was, what was the most anticipated film of 2012? Really this contest demonstrates one thing: The determination of young adult (YA) fanbases and their willingness to come out and support the movies, books and/or actors they are into. Film studios, TV networks and publishers are more than aware of this, which is why millions are now spent creating, cultivating and mobilizing them.
It doesn't take a think tank to realize that if you can make young adults care about your movie, book, or whatever - those same young adults will take care of the rest. So what do YA's have, that other demographics don't? Well, they have time, as most of them are not yet movers and shakers in professions or jobs. But what they also have is unwavering passion for the object of their affection. It's part of the nature of YA's, and we can all remember that, right?
As the latest box-office shattering figures for Breaking Dawn Part 1 released by Summit Entertainment (now owned by Lionsgate) yesterday showed, YA's can take a film/book/product all the way to the bank - heck they can even build a bank - if enough time and money is spent on effective, exciting attention-grabbers. Which is why before the release of each Twilight Saga installment Summit Entertainment endlessly promotes with TV spots, personal meet-and-greets by the cast at events like Comic-con, trailers at award shows like the VMA's, carefully timed releases of stills from shoots, fan group incentivizers, concert tours and huge spends on credible soundtracks with hot artists. This is what it takes to ensure YA audiences support -and keep on supporting - product.
The same thing is now happening with THG. As the New York Times Media Decoder Blog reports, huge surges in sales of Suzanne Collins trilogy (the books the THG films are adapted from), has led to circulation of the books jumping from 9.6 million in 2010, when production of THG began, to the present 23.5 million. The increase, directly linked not just to the books, but also to the online fanbase that blew up after the trailer for THG was shown just before theatre runs of Breaking Dawn Part 1 back in November 2011. Just as Summit Entertainment did so effectively with BD1, extensive roll outs of THG cast stills, teasers, information, competitions and media interviews, are now just part of what Lionsgate sees as necessary to reach the YA market and bring the motherload home.
Thanks to the connecting power of the internet and the example set by a rebooted MTV in the early 90's, when they switched focus from purely music videos and launched reality shows like Real World and Road Rules (before the relentless wave that followed) to their key YA viewers - essentially MTV paved the way for the massive acceleration in interest film studios now have in YA audiences. And it shows.
Up and down the comments page at MTV's 2012 Movie Brawl, a war of words raged between the two camps. Accusations of cheating, rigging, and hacking went back and forth across the blogosphere - but in the end the result was clear and perfectly fair. Here's the amazing part: Even without a trailer, promotion, or any of the vast resources Lionsgate has thrown at THG; the passion and affection Pattinson fans have for a young actor on the verge of definitively proving his serious acting mettle on the world stage - delivered an indie film called Cosmopolis to Victory.
David and Goliath, eat your heart out.
Did you vote? And do you agree with the result?
@ Page MacKinley 2012.