This Swine Flu thing is getting ridiculous. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new flu variant going around which has killed a hundred people or so in Mexico and pretty much no one anywhere else. Cases have been reported in places like New York and where I am, in Texas. It’s the flu. A few pills and some chicken soup and you’re fine. Yet people are absolutely losing their minds over this perceived danger, even though by all accounts it’s not Captain Trips, and the only reason the death toll is so high in Mexico is because they don’t have decent healthcare.
Yet the panic continues, fueled by a national and local media desperate to get ratings. Here in Dallas the local media has gone absolutely nuts. There’ve only been 3 cases reported in the area, yet they’re already shutting down schools and people are acting as if they’re afraid to go out of their house.
Is there any danger from this latest piece of vapor plague? I doubt it, unless it’s an economic one. If you’re Fox, it may be time to panic.
I don’t know how it is where you are, but here the media is talking about the dangers of going to public gatherings. They’re one step away from warning people to stay in their houses and it’s pretty much implied that going to something like a movie theater or a sporting event this next weekend is a really dangerous idea. It’s not, but we’re all sheep. Unfortunately for 20th Century Fox, Wolverine opens this weekend and with Swine Flu panic driving everyone indoors to hide from rampaging pigs, odds are this is going to hurt their box office.
They’ve already conceded release defeat in Mexico. Variety says Fox has cancelled the movie’s Thursday debut in Mexico City, where the mayor has requested that bars, restaurants, and movie theaters shut down. If the overreaction continues to build in the United States the way it is where I am in Dallas, it’s easy to imagine the same thing happening here. Even if it doesn’t, how many people are willing to risk Swine Flu to see a shitty Wolverine film? Doesn’t matter whether there’s any real risk, they think there is, and so they’re staying home.
It’s just one more excuse in Fox’s failure arsenal. They’ve been battening down the hatches and preparing for a Wolverine box office failure ever since it first appeared on the internet in pirated version weeks ago. Since then they’ve been cooking up gimmicks to trick audiences into theaters anyway (Multiple endings? Really Fox?) and now they may be thwarted by a plague. First pirates now the black death. Are we sure Wolverine isn’t a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel? I’d almost feel sorry for them, if it wasn’t Fox.