Added by: Ankh
Sunday, 17 Oct 2010, 23.45
Less than a year after its launch date, the official website for the film Shutter Island continues to experience a steady decline in visitors, a "baffling" trend that has persisted since March, ShutterIsland.com employees reported Monday.
Perplexed insiders said that despite providing users with full-length theatrical trailers, a synopsis, a link to buy the music from the film, and the ability to share the site on social networking platforms like MySpace, Reddit, and Digg, daily traffic dipped last week to its lowest point in 2010.
"Frankly, we're at a loss to explain what's going on here," said site administrator Eric Walsh, poring over a report detailing September's dismal performance. "We've got all the same great reviews, cast and crew bios, and downloads that made ShutterIsland.com so popular in the first place. What more do people want?"
"It's like one day they couldn't wait to unravel Shutter Island's haunting secret, and the next they'd completely lost interest," he added.
Web traffic reportedly saw a gradual but steady climb early this year, particularly when cast members began promoting the film in TV interviews. But on the evening of Friday, Feb. 19, without any warning, page views suddenly plateaued. A week later, they began to plummet.
According to sources, a second blow came in April as thousands of fans canceled their subscriptions to the site's newsletter, a weekly e-mail containing updates on the film's press, special events related to its release, and other Shutter Island–related occurrences.
Globally, the film's 24 international sites are said to have fared similarly, with interest in each peaking around one specific date before viewers began steadily trickling away.
"We looked into whether our visitors were using older browsers or hadn't updated to the latest version of Flash, but that didn't seem to be the problem," Walsh lamented. "It's possible some users didn't realize you can turn the sound effects on and off, or experience the site in full-screen mode, but I feel like we made those features pretty user-friendly."
Though ShutterIsland.com remains committed to reaching as many people as possible and providing them with the latest Shutter Island news, attempts to stem the loss of traffic, including a prominent reminder that fans can now own the film on Blu-Ray and enjoy never-before-seen features, have so far proven unsuccessful.
"Management is breathing down my neck to boost page hits and I have no idea how we're supposed to do that," said promotions manager Brian Holop, acknowledging it was possible people had simply exhausted the site's supply of AOL Instant Messenger icons and desktop wallpapers. "I pitched a great idea for an interactive map that lets you explore Shutter Island, but they said we don't have the budget for it."
"Meanwhile, a friend of mine over at Saw3DMovie.com says business there has never been better," he continued. "Their numbers are through the roof, and that movie hasn't even come out yet."
Employees have reportedly begun asking difficult questions about ShutterIsland.com's future. Some have openly wondered whether it's time to remove the once-popular Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese featurettes, which, sources conceded, have neither been e-mailed nor embedded in any blogs since April. Others have floated the idea of posting an interview with cast member Mark Ruffalo about how difficult it was to film in the rain.
"Maybe the Internet is changing, or maybe people aren't interested in staying up-to-date on one of the year's most thrilling blockbusters anymore," Holop said. "But the reality is, every site has its ups and downs, and this is probably just a small bump in the road."
Added Holop, "Either way, the 'Which Shutter Island Cast Member Are You?' quiz will surely turn things around."