For a long time film studios have kept a subset of films away from critics before their premiere. The logic is that these films — from horror pics to big budget thrillers and comedies — might get bad reviews and will fare better going directly to the public.
The feeling is that the approach might at least help these films get a strong opening weekend. And now studios are relying on social media for that purpose. But as Hollywood is increasingly trying to get people to see big budget films with dwindling marketing budgets, social media is getting more of the credit and blame for box office success or failure.