Like clockwork, really. Barely two weeks after Judd Apatow's latest directorial job, Funny People, flopped at the American box office, Apatow himself has flown into down to spruik his product to a nation of people studios think won't know any better. It's a well-travelled path; a celebrity being flown into Australia to sell their latest movie on the back of disappointing box office or bad buzz. A good 95% of the time whenever an actor is in town doing interviews the movie they are selling isn't worth the cost of the airfare let alone the cost of a ticket.
Sure, sometimes this is not the case. They hardly needed to put Meryl, Colin and Dominic on a plane down here to sell Mamma Mia! to the masses, but by and large you can count on a celebrity trip equalling a bad movie. I remember one infamous time when Charlize Theron was sent here to talk about North Country and then the movie made less at the box office than it would have cost to get her here. Poor distributors, thinking they can cover their arse with glitter and sparkles (aka celebrities).
However, sending Judd Apatow here? That's a bit... bland. For a movie that stars Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and "Australia's Own™" Eric Bana the best they could get is Apatow? He's hardly a celebrity here like he is in America. Nevertheless, he's been out there selling his movie, telling stories about just how darn funny "Australia's Own™" Eric Bana is and how crazy it was discovering how funny he was. He even went to the football and has had photo shoots decked out in St Kilda garb. The media, who fawn over even the most B grade of celeb, will be calling him an "honourary Aussie" in no time!
Funny People is out in cinemas 10 September and by then nobody will remember he was ever here. Money well spent!