Movie companies aren't sure yet how big the Twitter effect is in making or breaking films—a spate of negative tweets are reputed to have killed Bruno after a strong opening over the summer—but they're leaving as little as possible to chance. It's the hot new "campaign-management tool," Advertising Age notes. Sony used it to good effect on Julie & Julia, The Ugly Truth, and District 9, providing a forum for ratcheting up early positive buzz.
But perhaps more important, Hollywood is using Twitter to gauge the success of their traditional campaigns, allowing them to change tack if a movie is getting bad word of mouth. "A movie can be damaged really quickly," on Twitter, one exec conceded. "The name of the game for the studios is to take full advantage of all early signals." (Read more Twitter stories.)