Week 8
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WEEK 8. STUDIO MARKETING STRATEGIES. Marketing Budget. In 2009, the average marketing budget for a theatrical release from a major Hollywood studio was $35.9 million (source: MPAA)

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Week 8



Marketing budget
Marketing Budget

  • In 2009, the average marketing budget for a theatrical release from a major Hollywood studio was $35.9 million (source: MPAA)

  • For expensive, blockbuster movies, the marketing campaign alone can cost as much as half of the total production budget (source: Vogel).

Go big or go home
Go Big or Go Home!

  • Not uncommon for large movies to make over 40% of their gross profits the first weekend, even if the movie stinks!

  • The first week in release is crucial and as a result studio marketing strategies are in full gear before the opening weekend.

  • Ang Lee’s “HULK” grossed 47% its total gross profits the 1st weekend, only to make 69% less by the second. (source: boxofficemojo)

Studio budget allocation
Studio Budget Allocation

  • Newspapers: 10.1 percent

  • Network TV: 21.6 percent

  • Spot TV (purchasing commercial "spots" from individual TV stations): 13.9 percent

  • Internet: 4.4 percent

  • Theatrical trailers: 4.2 percent

  • Other media (includes cable TV, radio, magazines, billboards): 24 percent

  • Other non-media (market research, promotion/publicity, creative services): 21.8 percent

  • [source: MPAA]

Typical studio budget allocation
Typical Studio Budget Allocation

Trailers marketing

  • The theatrical trailer is often the first chance to promote a movie to its target audience.

  • Starting up to a year before the release of a major studio movie.

  • It's an art form that's usually handled by special trailer production houses.

Website marketing

  • About the same time that the first trailers hit the theaters, the movie studio will unveil an official Web site for the film.

  • Web sites allow visitors to view multiple versions of the trailer, watch behind-the-scenes interviews and mini-documentaries, read plot synopses, download cell-phone ringtones and desktop wallpaper, play games, chat in forums and even pre-order tickets.

Press junket marketing

  • As the release date of the film draws closer, movie marketers try to get early favorable press coverage in newspapers, magazines and on entertainment TV shows.

  • At a press junket, journalists, entertainment reporters and movie critics are flown out to a special location for a day or weekend of interviews with the stars and creators of the film.

The blitz marketing

  • The idea is to bombard the public with so many images and promos for the movie that it becomes a "can't miss" event.

  • Movie marketers will plaster the sides of buses with huge ads, place billboards all around the city, run tons of teaser trailers on TV, place full-page ads in major newspapers and magazines, and the movie's stars will show up on all of the major talk shows.

Viral marketing

  • Promoters can place rich, interactive ads on the Web sites most trafficked by their target audience.

  • They release behind-the-scenes clips, bloopers and other viral videos on video-sharing sites like YouTube.

  • Or they can release different media clips and let the fans create their own trailers.

Tie ins sponserhips marketing

  • Working with corporations to market the upcoming film (i.e. weeks leading up to the release of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," images of the green Grinch appeared on packages of Oreos, boxes of Froot Loops and cans of Sprite.)

  • Even the United States Postal Service got into the act, stamping letters with special "Happy Who-lidays!"

Publicity stunt marketing

  • An orchestrated media event where someone does something incredibly silly, dangerous or spectacular to draw further attention to the opening of the movie.

  • An example is when the promoters of "The Simpsons Movie" transformed dozens of nationwide 7-Eleven convenience stores into replica's of Springfield's own Kwik-E Mart [source: Keegan].

Risk factors

  • There's no focus.

  • Chances are that with every blockbuster movie marketing campaign, millions of dollars are lost on people who would never see the movie, no matter how good it is-untargeted markets!

  • There's always a chance that the marketing campaign will stink just as bad as the movie.

  • For example, Oliver Stone's epic "Alexander" cost $155 million to make and $60 million to market domestically and only took in $167 million worldwide [sources: Box Office Mojo and Waxman].

Mitigating risk factors

  • NICHEBUSTER – Smaller movie marketed heavily to a specific audience segment, say skateboarding fans or religious groups.

  • USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES – Internet marketing, teaser trailers, viral buzz, live events.