As most people have already seen, a TMZ video was leaked a couple of weeks ago regarding the Universal movie, A Dog’s Purpose. The movie, which follows a dog being reincarnated, underwent a lot of controversy when a video of a German Shepherd being forced into rushing water hit social media. PETA not only spoke out on the issue greatly, but there was even a boycott that started because of this. Universal and Amblin partnered for this movie. While Amblin claimed that the video was grossly edited and that it was at fault for a third-party production team, Universal cancelled the premiere. However, A Dog’s Purpose hit theaters this last weekend and did surprisingly well. While they said they were hoping to hit 25 million at the box office, they still hit 18.1 million, which was extremely surprising to many.
What I thought was so interesting about this whole story was the effect of a single video to a major production. Companies can be completely brought down by a single person today. The effect of blogs, twitter, and other social media has changed how companies must operate. There is a huge lack of privacy in everything today. While of course it is awesome when an animal is being mistreated and companies can be exposed for their ethical wrongdoings, it is also probably extremely difficult to operate while constantly under scrutiny. While Universal and Amblin were probably extremely relieved that they didn’t lose more money, one video lost them 7 million in one weekend, and probably caused a PR nightmare.