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More Movie Science

From time to time, we report on what scientists are thinking about the films we see. Why is the new Bond film called Casino Royale instead of James Bond 21 (which is what it actually is)? Are movie stars getting so skinny that this sets a dangerous precedent for women with incipient eating disorders? Scientists have good answers to these seemingly show-biz questions.

Researchers have decided that movie watchers prefer sequels with names, rather than just numbers (a style that was popular a few years ago). In LiveScience.com, Jeanna Bryner quotes from the Journal of Consumer Research that, "Hollywood has begun branding movies in a similar way that consumer packaged goods manufacturers brand their products."

A few years ago, when numbered sequels were all the rage, movie producers borrowed from more mundane consumer products. As the Journal says, "Typically, products that branch off and are named after a parent brand can garner more appeal for consumers who already trust the brand name. For instance, customers might trust the cavity-fighting power of Crest toothpaste and thus would be more apt to try out a new Crest mouthwash."

But movie studios found that this technique backfires when it comes to films, leading to a smaller attendance for every subsequent numbered film, because consumers "do not want to see the same movie twice."

In Bond films, the actress playing female love interest has gotten thinner and thinner over the last 21 years, to the point that many of these ladies resemble present day models, in that we may suspect they have an eating disorder.

The Academy for Eating Disorders has called for a global ban on the use of severely underweight models and actresses. To our great relief, the average woman may soon see changes in this soon, since the recent Dove campaign, which featured real young women (with normal bodies) was a resounding success.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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