Pity poor Marvel’s The Avengers. It may be the third highest-grossing film of all time, but after a mere few months of release, it’s only playing in about 500 theaters.
Meanwhile, upstart Sleepwalk With Me has seen its projected theater count slowly increase due to fan demand stoked by the film’s co-writers Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia. Clearly something had to be done to suppress the threat posed by Sleepwalk siphoning away prospective viewers of The Avengers. Director Joss Whedon took it upon himself to mobilize his superheroic fanbase and do something.
The title of Whedon’s video says it all: “Whedon to Birbiglia and This American Life: Drop Dead.” For two minutes, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer-creator advises viewers against watching “these little tiny films people really care about” when they could instead be “nurturing corporate spectacle.” The performance reflects remarkable commitment by Whedon, whose legions of fans hopefully won’t take it too seriously and declare nerd-war on Sleepwalk With Me.