For the release of the Ashton Kutcher / Katherin Heigl movie 'Killers', Lions Gate Enternainment chose not to pre-release the movie to critics, but instead left it to movie-goer's social networks to critique the movie and create buzz. Lionsgate said this in a statement to the Associated Press about their strategy of not showing the film in advance:
“We want to capitalize on the revolution in social media by letting audiences and critics define this film concurrently. In today's socially connected marketplace, we all have the ability to share feedback instantly around the world. In keeping with this spirit, Lionsgate and the filmmakers want to give the opportunity to moviegoing audiences and critics alike to see `Killers' simultaneously, and share their thoughts in the medium of their choosing.”
Companies that recognize the power of the online community and the social networks that live within them and use them to their advantage are prone to their fair share of negative criticism. But when they get their service right, the viral spread of praise for their services can come back to them in spades.
PS: 'Killers' is awful. Truly awful.