Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Schwarzeneggerian Synergy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    One of the most amazing and maddening things about Gov. Schwarzenegger is his ability to win even when he's losing.

    Take the union protests against his new movie, The Expendables. The unions are rightly angry about the governor's attempts to impose new furloughs on their members -- even over the opposition of judges -- so they're asking people not to see the movie this weekend. But by protesting the governor's new movie, they're probably helping him.

    How's that? Marketers of Hollywood movies are desperate to get attention for their films -- particularly in parts of newscasts and newspapers where films often aren't mentioned. When the studios do public polling, the key statistic is how many people are aware of a movie. Building audience awareness of a coming film is crucial to getting people to see it.

    So the burst of publicity that the protests have received, including a story in yesterday's New York Times, are good for the film, and good for Schwarzenegger. For one thing, since Schwarzenegger's appearance in uncredited, the unions are helping Arnold movie fans know that he's in the picture.

    The good news for the unions: They're also getting attention for their own views. So this is something of a win-win. Synergy.

    I wish I could get labor unions -- or really anyone -- to protest my new book.