WHERE TO FIND IT: www.irongiant.com
CRITIQUE: Buzz. It can make or break the critical opening weekend for films. The Internet's an easy and cheap way to generate it, as movie studios have long known.
They were the early adopters, creating microsites for product launches and taking advantage of every technology available to make the sites as buzz-worthy and as fan-friendly as possible.
Artisan Entertainment's "The Blair Witch Project" brilliantly rode the Internet buzz (fabricated or no) all the way to the bank.
Now "The Iron Giant," Warner Bros. Studios' new animated movie, is out to poke its robotic head high above the crowded summer-release schedule by staging events within its site, including a series of cybercasts of a long-format, 10-minute version of the film's trailer.
Unlike the sometimes backward music industry, film studios are embracing fan sites-realizing that it's better to foster them rather than seeing them as a threat.
"The Iron Giant" is providing fans with the raw material in the hope that filmgoers and the media alike make the connection between bulk and buzz.
We would like to mention, however, that traditional Web advertising (read: banners) can go a long way to getting the buzzers to your site, and should most definitely be included in any equation for success.