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Peril on The Darjeeling Limited

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On the road again, or in this case on the train again. The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson’s new film starring Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson, was limited in audience expectation despite the star power – though it was never designed to be the Kyoto Express. All these metaphors are appropriate since so much of the film takes place on a train in India.

Of peripheral interest is the impact of Owen Wilson’s reported wounds and hospitalization, which by all accounts were self inflicted. But does this type of publicity surrounding a film’s star before the movie’s release affect the public’s perception of the film and more importantly, its box office?

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My answer is: It depends.

Mel Gibson’s speaking under the influence, Woody Allen’s dalliance
with a young no-blood relative, or Meg Ryan’s affair with Russell Crowe
during the shooting of Proof of Life all impacted severely their
films’ economic and creative reception. When the shenanigans of the
film’s players make more buzz than the film, it’s a bad omen; but in
this business, there are no rules (you break them at your peril). The
danger is when the off screen theatrics exceed the on screen drama in
audience attention — the horse is going in the wrong direction and all
the paid ads and posters can’t reign it in…..hold your breath here.

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