marketing vs quality

Discussion in 'Movies' started by chris winters, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. chris winters

    chris winters Second Unit

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    I was curious as to what people thought of the role of marketing in filmaking. Usually it gets a bad rap, or is blamed for a films falure, or misrepresentation, but never gets credit for a film's success. Can anyone think of examples of a film that suceeded solely on its marketing, and had little to do with its quality? What are some modern marketing tactics? What is an example of great marketing? Everyone agrees that execs in charge of marketing are generally pure evil [​IMG] but surely there are some examples of a job well done.
     
  2. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I don't know about solely, but the following come to mind as having had clever or just intriguing marketing.

    Blair Witch Project - Yep, I thougth it was a true story till after the movie. Shoot me.

    The Matrix - What is the Matrix? That question guarantied I would be there on opening night. That and the shot of Trinity running on the wall.

    Hopefully this will not end up being just another list of favorite trailers [​IMG]

    --
    H
     
  3. Mark Schmitt

    Mark Schmitt Stunt Coordinator

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    Batman.

    The most successful blitz ever, I believe. But again, it wasn't solely successful on marketing alone.
     
  4. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Cat In The Hat.

    How much did that film make? A pretty incredible amount for a film which pretty much everyone who saw the film admits was crap.

    I went to see Peter Pan the other day - wonderful film, loved it, zero promotion, failed. Cat In The Hat was completely overpromoted, brainwashed everyone into seeing it, result huge box office for a completely undeservcing film.

    Sadly, a lot of films these days that do really well succeed mainly because of promotion. Kids films are particularly susceptible to this, because kids will insist on seeing what they have been told to see.
     
  5. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    in that case, Batman doesn't count, does it?


    I would have the second the Matrix, even though the marketting hype did not work on me, I still haven't seen it.
     
  6. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    Godzilla comes to mind, and to a certain extent, Independence Day, though the latter was better than the former.
     
  7. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    How much did The Haunting remake get? I remember watching a documentary not too long ago in which a person who works in marketing for Dreamworks referred to that movie as an example of how marketing films can give mixed emotions: you have to sell the movies for your company and are happy when a movie gets a lot of money, but you feel bad because you've suckered people into going to see a piece of crap [​IMG]
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    No film has ever succeeded solely on marketing, or solely on the popularity of a star or solely on anything else.

    All any single element associated with a film prior to its release can do is help "open" the movie - put butts in the seats through the critical first weekend. Everything after that is word-of-mouth. If the film sucks no amount of hype is going to save it. If it is good, word-of-mouth will keep people coming. The reason bad marketing kills films is similarly tied to word-of-mouth. If the advertisements lead the initial audience to expect one kind of film and they get another, then the word of mouth is going to be bad. An under-promoted film might reach the right audience, but if too few of them show up the first week they won't be able to convince enough of their friends to see it quickly enough to keep the movie in the theater. (As with television and ratings, the studios are much quicker to pull a film with "poor" box office these days, giving movies much less time to "find" an audience. That's one reason so many "failed" films turn out to be huge hits on home video.)

    The Cat in the Hat may be something of an exception because of the kind of film it is. (I haven't seen it, so I can't comment on its quality myself.) Cat was hyped all right, but primarily to its target audience - kids. It didn't matter how many adults called each other up and said, "Man, that sucked. I want that 2 hours of my life back". When little Johnny and little Janey begged to see it Christmas week their parents took them because parent's generally don't expect to enjoy the movies and videos their kids like. They expect to suffer through them. And the kids themselves are rather less than sophistitcated critics, so as long as the movie more-or-less resembles the trailer (or the comic book, happy meal toy or other tie-in that they've already talked their parents into, they're happy.)

    BTW, isn't it a bit premature to call Peter Pan a "failure"? It is still playing here in Florida, and word of mouth may yet increase its box office take.

    Independence Day was a gloriously stupid film, but a very entertaining one. Again, hype opened the film, but word of mouth made it a hit. And my impression is that Godzilla laid a dinosaur egg at the box office, disappointing the studios and limping into the black only on either the overseas box office or home video sales. But I could be wrong. All I know for sure is that I didn't waste my money on a ticket (I later rented the DVD from Netflix) and don't recall it having stayed in theaters hereabouts for very long.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    Ah, the Haunting remake. Like so many modern horror movies is sets up a wonderfully creepy atmosphere and provides some genuine scares until the end when a CGI bonanza completely destroys the movie and puts and end to any suspension of disbelief. (Grandpa, your not gonna blah blah blah, grandpa!)
     

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