On June 12 we brought you news that Columbia Pictures had struck a deal with Walmart to offer customers of the massive retail chain a sneak preview of The Amazing Spider-Man in the most cynical, money-grubbing way possible. A single scene from the upcoming film was made available to Walmart stores, and instead of simply screening the footage or offering it as a DVD hand-out to loyal customers, Walmart priced the clip — which, again, was of a single scene from a film that hits theaters in less than a month — at $3 a pop.
Commenters on our original piece weren’t impressed by the idea. “I really can’t see the point in spending time and money on what may as well be a movie trailer. I’ll set that $3 aside and put it toward the purchase of the feature length film,” wrote “Infernomatic,” while the like-minded if less diplomatic “Doug64012” simply asked, “Are they freaking outta touch with reality or what?”
Regardless of how consumers may feel about the move however, the one element everyone could seemingly agree on was the idea that the scene would be uploaded to the Internet almost immediately, rendering the Walmart/Columbia Pictures scheme largely irrelevant. As expected, that is exactly what has happened, and the full 3:29 clip can be found embedded below.
Before you skip down there to hit “play” though, we think it should be pointed out that the YouTube description attached to the clip is, well … exceedingly positive. Have a look:
Hello guys. Here’s a FULL scene of Spider-Man trolling a carjacker, Spidey and his sense of humor and Spider-Man escaping from the police. Now this scene is about 3 minutes and a half and I swear to God that this scene WILL laugh your ass off. I can’t wait to watch this film and I hope this will kick Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogies asses.
It then goes on to list a surprisingly extensive list of credits for the film, and most bizarrely, goes out of its way to specify that the film is the intellectual property of Columbia Pictures. That’s all useful information, but if you’ve spent any time at all on YouTube, you’ll know that it’s not exactly a bastion of verbose thought. Why would a random Internet dweller go to the trouble of typing all of that out after deliberately punching a hole in the film’s promotional plans? It doesn’t make much sense, unless he or she is actually a public relations plant who exists purely to virally promote the clip in a way that doesn’t necessarily violate whatever agreement Columbia may have struck up with Walmart. Not to get too conspiratorial, but if this scene was purposely leaked, Sony gets both enhanced publicity for the film and a chance to maintain that baffling agreement with Walmart, while the retailer can’t really complain about the scuttled sales since it was apparently one of those uncontrollable pirate types who put the scene on the ‘net.
On second thought, we don’t care to think that hard about this situation. Watch the clip, then let us know if you’re still excited for The Amazing Spider-Man.