Apparently this was all the result of a misunderstanding involving Oracle, who talked to Marvel and was planning a similar screening, and a lack of communication with Paramount. Too bad — I was hoping to see Mike and Marvel go toe-to-toe on this one 🙂
In yet another example of how not to do customer relations or PR of any kind, Mike Arrington has a stunning exhibit from a lawyer representing Marvel, the comic powerhouse whose Iron Man character has become a major motion picture. Mike wanted to put on a social event for TechCrunch fans, so he booked a theatre and planned to show the movie for free — although he asked for $1 per ticket to cut down on the no-shows. Wham! That is apparently verboten, according to Marvel’s lawyer.
“You have not been authorized to exhibit, sell tickets to, nor invite the public to an Iron Man screening.”
As Mike points out, the whole process began with a phone call to the number listed on the official Iron Man movie website for “group sales.” So what is the Marvel guy’s problem? Hard to say. Obviously, movie studios and content companies like Marvel have an interest in holding publicity premieres, etc. and also have relationships with movie-theatre chains, who don’t want to see just anyone rent a theatre and go into competition with them. But still — is that any way to handle such a thing? It just makes Marvel look stupid, and mean.