Paramount Pictures, which is releasing the latest Star Trek movie this Friday, is hoping for record box office returns, fueled by a big turnout from the movie franchise's core audience: virgins.
While the studio has high hopes for the movie's success with the general audience, it is taking great pains to target the group that has flocked to every previous Star Trek film, and that means reaching out to people who have never come close to having sex.
"There is already a terrific buzz about this movie among virgins online," said Paramount distribution spokesman Tracy Klujian. "The good news for us is, virgins spend a lot of time online."
While Paramount admits that it has done its homework to reach America's virgins, conducting audience testing and focus groups with moviegoers who have never been on a date, they are not taking the virgin audience for granted.
"There are so many things competing for virgins' attention in the marketplace," he said. "Not just the Internet, but computer games, comic books, and Transformers 2."
Zach Sussberg, 24, a virgin in Flint, Michigan, said that he had cleared out his entire weekend to make sure that he sees the new Star Trek film.
"Everybody says that this new Star Trek is better than sex," he said. "But hey, I wouldn't know."
Interestingly, Paramount's Klujian said that the studio is not targeting moviegoers involved in the abstinence movement: "Let's face it, those kids are having more sex than anybody."
Elsewhere, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said he had launched his own version of "No Child Left Behind."
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