I’m told that two of Israel’s largest movie distributors are making it difficult for film critics to attend preview screenings because the critiques are considered bad for opening weekend business. israeli-film-critics.JPGSo I have to ask: first Israel, and eventually the U.S.? Israeli film critic and blogger Yair Raveh emails me to complain that Sony’s Spider-Man 3 (to be released in Israel on May 3rd, a day before the U.S.), New Line’s Fracture (to be released also on May 3rd) and The Weinstein Co.’s Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino’s half of Grindhouse, to be released May 31st) will roll out with  almost minimal press coverage. Raveh explains that Forum Film (Israel’s largest theatre-chain operator and the local distributor for Disney, Miramax, TWC and New Line) and AD Matalon (the local distributors for Sony and Fox) have been trying to shoo critics away. ”As a film critic myself, I’m aware that a critic’s influence on box office is minimal, if at all. But once you alienate all media outlets to your movies, and get almost zero press coverage on opening weekend (apart from the odd foreign press junket), your movies become invisible,” Raveh writes me. Interesting, huh? Some studios are telling me Raveh is just a troublemaker. I’ve heard that before…

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