Behold an audience’s reaction to the mention of M. Night Shyamalan’s name in a trailer for the horror movie “Devil.” The director apparently gets a “story” credit in the film and is, of course, the film’s producer. UPDATE: NBC Universal blocked the video, so we’ll describe it for you. Someone is taping a trailer for a horror movie with a camcorder. The usual audience noises are audible. When the credits switch to “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” the audience spontaneously groans, as if in pain.
His recent movie, “The Last Airbender” has not been what you’d call a huge commercial and critical success.
In two weeks of release, the $150 million movie has dropped from second place to seventh. It lost more than half its audience in the first week. By comparison, Toy Story 3, which has been in theaters two weeks longer than Airbender, continues to beat it in total revenue and per-screen revenue.
And then there was “The Happening” (in which nothing happened), and before that, “Lady in the Water,” which was described by a film critic as “someone pouring petrol over their heads and setting fire to themselves.”
So the question is: Why, if this is the reaction audiences have to M. Night, do they continue to advertise him prominently?