Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don't Believe the Hype (Film Marketing)

Must read article about film marketing over at The New Yorker.

Much of the story comes from following around Tim Palen, Lionsgate's co-president of marketing.

Some choice points from the article:

  • Average cost of marketing film - 36 million for big studios, that's one third the budget kiddies.
  • From a trailer cutter, "We're in the business of cheating...We give push up bras to flat-chested girls, take people's eyes and put them where we want them. And sometimes it works."
  • Titles matter. The Devil Wears Prada caused some people to expect a horror movie. The movie New in Town was once "Chilled in Miami."
  • And finally, it's bad enough the current obsession with how movies perform on opening weekends. But in the studios, they begin making estimates before the end of Friday about whether it's a winner or loser. It's all about the numbers baby. (Roger Ebert has a great post about the pitfalls of judging films by their box office here.)

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