Wednesday, April 30, 2008

TechCrunch Almost Crushed By Iron Man Screening

TechCrunch, a blog that according to it’s web page is “dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies” and co-edited by Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld tried to hold a special event preview of Iron Man on April 30th.

From their site announcing the event:

CrunchGear and TechCrunch are hosting a special event tomorrow, April 30 (Wednesday) in San Francisco - a special screening of the movie Iron Man, two days before the official May 2 release.

Then I started hearing on the Twitter-Vine that the event might be cancelled. (Not that I was going since they are on the West Coast and I am sitting in an office in the New York Film Academy in Union Square right now.) I went to their site to find out the deal.

On the site they posted that:

Marvel has sent us a cease and desist letter demanding that we cancel the Iron Man event tomorrow at the AMC Metreon in San Francisco. We are not canceling the event yet - stay tuned as our lawyers work this out.

Man, I wish I had a team of lawyers! I do movie reviews for the British Science Fiction Association’s webpage, The Matrix, a very old and respected association in the UK and I couldn’t even get an advanced screening from the Paramount PR team to do a review. I have no juice in this town, I tell you. It took like five emails between US and UK public relations people at Paramount for them to give me a big fat “no.”

Anyway, by about 4:00pm EST or so the crisis was over.

From TechCrunch’s post:

Drama over. The CrunchGear/TechCrunch Iron Man screening, which Marvel tried to shut down yesterday for no good reason whatsoever (more on that below), is back on.

Good for TechCrunch. Apparently Oracle was also promoting the screening of Iron Man and they whined to Marvel, setting off a chain of events.

TechCrunch reported that:

We’re still trying to figure out exactly what happened, but Marvel is now saying that Oracle, which is promoting the movie, complained about the event. From our attorney: “He said this all arose from a misunderstanding. Paramount had not informed Marvel about your deal. Oracle had booked the theatre for a different screening at the same time. People at Oracle were upset thinking that their event was turning into a TechCrunch event and that there would be too many people, conflicts over who would get in, etc.”

Most surprising of it all is that TechCrunch has an extra two grand laying around for just such an emergency:

Marvel also apologized, and we accept. I’m not annoyed at all that we incurred an extra $2,000 in legal expense on top of the ticket price.

On a Tweet, TechCrunch even said that they thought that “…one might even say that Oracle was being somewhat villainous”

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