Expert Borat Trap

Reports are abundant of the experts’ incredulity of the success of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, ”Borat’s Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Two seemingly obvious questions are: Why did the film make some $9 million in its opening Friday? And, why were the experts so wrong in their anticipation of this film’s failure?

I have no pretensions about being the kind of expert who has been rendering these prognostications, but I won’t let that stop me from trying to answer these questions.

I don’t have any desire to critique the film itself, so let’s just assume that Sacha and his film are good stuff. Anyway, I don’t have to critique it, because you can go to YouTube and see any number of Borat clips. Interestingly, this clip of Borat wrestling CBS’ Harry Smith has almost 500,000 views as of this evening. I submit that this is, in fact, the answer to the above questions. I don’t know how all these clips came to be on YouTube long before the movie’s release, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a part of a clever marketing strategy. I also wouldn’t be surprised to discover that the aforementioned experts knew little to nothing of this fact.

Update 11/6: That CBS clip has almost 900,000 views just two days later.