Here is an hour long interview with Lucas after he finished his poorly received first film THX-1138. Lucas complains heavily about the studios inability to sell films, a problem that many people still agree with today.
I was just thinking about 'The English Patient' the other day. It was a film that I didn't initially go and see as the ads painted the film as a schmaltzy love story. It wasn't until I saw a new set of trailers that presented the film as much more complex that I went and saw it. Miramax was excellent at promoting their films and creating a buzz around their new releases. On the radio today a film critic was lamenting GI Joe, Transformers 2 and the upcoming releases of Fame and Footloose. Not that Hollywood has been terribly original from the beginning. One must remember that 'The Godfather' was based on a bestselling novel as was 'The Maltese Falcon' and 'Gone with the Wind'. John Huston's 'The Maltese Falcon' was the second film based on the book - the first was in 1931. The business people like betting on the sure thing.
Thanks for the link Rob.