Did you know that the movie Snakes on the Plane, available on Prime Video since January, had been an unprecedented phenomenon on the Internet before its release in 2006? Flashback.
It only took one title to cause a tidal wave on the Web: Snakes on a Plane. Or in French: Snakes on the plane. In August 2005, screenwriter Josh Friedman (Foundation, Avatar 2), wrote about his blog an article about a film expected the following year with a title that he finds hilarious and that he now uses as an expression in its own right. This is the starting point of a funny story.
As the months go by and even before any images are revealed, this action thriller featuring Samuel L. Jackson facing snakes on a plane is generating incredible buzz on the Internet, almost solely because of this title that is straight to the point and leaves no doubt about the kind of series B to expect.
the internet is going crazy
At the time, no social networks, it was mainly bloggers and forum users who made mayonnaise rise. Songs, posters, fanfictions, fake trailers, parodies of all kinds and even clothes are created in the image of this film or rather this title which delights Internet users.
Among all the tributes to Snakes on a Plane that abound on the Web, we find the Snakes on a blog blog or the site [Blanks] we have [Blank] (that is [Trou] in one [Trou]), which offers a challenge to amateur filmmakers: create a short film on a breed of animal in a particular vehicle. A word generator randomly designating the animal and the means of transport to make the project even more fun!
Many other fan-made videos are going viral like Cats on a Plane, Snakes Who Missed the Plane, and Steaks on a Train. ) and Lions on a Bus, eclipsing even the actual trailer on YouTube.
New Line seizes the buzz
The attention paid by Internet users to the feature film by David R. Ellis did not escape New Line Cinema for long. The film’s distribution company decided to surf on this unexpected interest from the Internet community, notably through contests on the official Snakes on the Plane website, which even promotes fan sites every week. This is the beginning of marketing 2.0.
The studio is also teaming up with Varitalk to launch a promotional campaign allowing fans to receive a voicemail from Samuel L. Jackson ! During the week of the campaign’s launch, more than 1.5 million calls were sent to participants.
Even better ! The enthusiasm for the film downright pushed the producers to make some changes to it so that it would be more aligned with what it had inspired to Internet users. In March 2006, a few months before the release, five new days of shooting took place, in particular to make scenes more violent (in fact, the classification of the film went from PG-13 to R).
According to legend, that’s when Samuel L. Jackson’s line was added.”I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!” (“I’ve had enough of these fucking snakes on this fucking plane!”), in a nod to the many other works where the actor uses this insult.
All that for this ?
After becoming this amazing Internet sensation, Snakes on a Plane was released on August 18, 2006 in the United States, and there it was. While box office pundits had estimated the film would rake in between $20 million and $30 million for its opening weekend, it only brought in $15.25 and only narrowly managed to take the premiere. place in the ranking of the week.
While no one was expecting critical success – after all, it was just the ridiculousness of the idea of snakes on a plane that got all this madness going on the web – a box office hit seemed guaranteed. But, in the end, the feature film will have collected only 62 million dollars in the world. A result well below New Line’s expectations, especially after the hype it had generated online.
Internet phenomenon if not a box office champion, Snakes on the plane is now to (re) discover on Prime Video!