Un. Be. lievable.
Act I: "Iron Mike" Arrington rents out SF Metreon AMC Theater for private TechCrunch screening of Iron Man for ~500-600 geek / comic fanboys, subsidizes costs so it's only $1 for the Tony Stark faithful to attend (fyi, TC works with AMC & Paramount to buy the tickets legit, so all on the up & up).
Act II: yours truly & others buy up tickets in a matter of hours. w00t ^2! 'nuff said.
Act III: the suits get wind of it, Marvel attorneys -- as in "it's a marvel you're actually an attorney" -- send Iron Mike a Cease & Desist letter. Mike and the rest of us can't believe how fucking stupid these idiots are. he checks with AMC/Metreon, and they're standing firm behind Techcrunch (for the moment, anyway). as of now, the show is still going on.
Act IV: waiting for tomorrow to see WTF happens here... i'm double-booked anyway, but i wouldn't miss this comicbook geekfest shitstorm for all the rice in china.
interpretation #1 via Occam's Razor: these guys are incredibly stupid, and just crapped the bed all over the best possible fan marketing you can get -- that is, user-generated buzz @ full retail markup (albeit subsidized by TechCrunch, but box office still gets paid regardless). now awaiting most negative fanboy reaction if they continue to send in the clowns (= attorneys). death by a thousand paper cuts / long tail blog posts awaits ye, Stan Lee!
interpretation #2 via Conspiracy Theory A: these guys are incredibly smart, and are stirring up shit with Arrington knowing full well they'll get massive geekster backlash, which will create even MORE fan buzz / press awareness, which will drive even more sales. sounds like a truly ingenious & great negative-spin-equals-positive-ROI PR story, but i just don't buy Teh Sharks in Teh Suits are that smart. if so, then i'm really impressed. we have all been played, and i mean like a friggin' Stradivarius by Itzhak Perlman.
interpretation #3 via Conspiracy Theory B: the double conspiracy -- a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma -- this entire charade is being manufactured by Arrington to drive even more attention to TechCrunch. let's see here: find geek movie, discover legal loophole, rent out movie theater, let slip to Marvel attorneys there's some unauthorized use of movie & see if they take the bait... BINGO! dem Sharks, dey Bite! now wait for C&D, re-publish on TC as soon as it's received, and BLAMMO!
& in this case i DO think Mike could be this smart... still, sounds a bit complicated even for Mr. Arrington.
but then again: is he Iron Mike, or Mike Hulk?
don't make Mike angry. you wouldn't like him when he's angry.