Archive for the ‘Movie Marketing’ Category

Hit MotoGP Film FASTER Launches on iTunes

Friday, July 11th, 2008
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New Video announced today that the hit feature film FASTER has premiered on iTunes. FASTER chases two seasons' worth of the MotoGP world championship over five continents, all the while critiquing the sport's subculture through revealing interviews with riders, mechanics, doctors, commentators and fans. The film features John Hopkins, the accident-Garry McCoy, and, for those in the know, the bitter rivalry between celebrity-schmoozing Max Biaggi and charismatic champion Valentino Rossi. New Video has ramped up their iTunes releases recently, and has become one of the leading suppliers of indie content to the store.
You can purchase a copy for $9.99 here.

The National Hockey League Partners with Paramount on “Love Guru”

Monday, April 14th, 2008
NHL Logo According to Brandweek, the National Hockey League has signed on as a promotional partner in support of Mike Meyer’s new comedy “The Love Guru.,” whose plot centers on the Toronto Maple Leafs' quest for the Stanley Cup. The NHL has committed to producing original commercials in support of the release:
Marketing support will include a 30-second TV spot, produced in cooperation with the movie studio by NHL Productions, which mixes NHL game action with scenes and dialogue from the film. The spot will run on Versus, NBC and online during NHL playoff games. The spot will also appear in-arena during playoff games now through the Stanley Cup finals in June.
The league will also include film-related content on NHL.com, and also plans on conducting in-arena branding and promotions.

The deal was brokered by the William Morris Agency on the leagues behalf. The film is slated to hit theaters on June 20th, with promotions running throughout the playoff season.

Indie Horror Film Viral Marketing Campaign Freaks out Okies

Saturday, April 12th, 2008
In order to promote the premiere of their horror film "A Beautiful Day" at an Oklahoma film festival, a local filmmaking team posted viral videos on YouTube as part of their marketing efforts. But instead of building viewer buzz, they attracted the attention of the local authorities according to the Tulsa World
A trailer for the film was posted on the video-sharing site YouTube under the headline, "Warning, Muskogee, OK." The video featured a synthesized voice saying, "People of Muskogee. Open your eyes. April 25th is a day you'll come to remember." Along with images of dark forests, it included the message "the end is coming."

Without context, the video came across as a possible terrorist threat, said Muskogee police spokesman Brad Holt.

Muskogee school officials alerted police to the video after word spread among students. April 25 is prom night for some of the schools, which only heightened concern, Holt added.

Muskogee police contacted the FBI and began investigating with federal agents before determining it was not a threat but a film trailer.

"Meant as a publicity stunt and just went bad," Holt said. "They didn't mention anything about a movie. It sounded like a threat."
Interestingly, there have been many recent Hollywood promotions of the web that haven't initially mentioned the name of the film ("Cloverfield" and the recent efforts behind "Quarantine" come to mind). Doesn't calling attention to the movie to early hurt the chance for the promo to go viral? Could it still work with a slate at the end for the film's website? Pulling the film from the festival was a chump move. At any rate, if they don't get the book thrown at 'em, this stunt could help them build up a fan base for the movie. You can check out the film's Myspace page and trailer here. It's creepy-kitschy in a DIY, "Coven" kind of way.

Early ‘Fantastic Four 2′ Review Lands Theater Projectionist in Hot Water

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

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I need to be real careful before writing this story because, as much as it sucks, pure honesty can get a man in a whole lot of trouble round these parts. So here's the facts: Not long ago, an AICN (Ain't It Cool News) henchman (who goes by the name of Memflix on the site) wrote into AICN with an early review of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. To say it was just a tad negative would be a major understatement -- essentially, dude ripped the flick apart. Now since I'm seeing the film tonight (which kind of stinks, because I then have to run home and stay up till all hours of the night writing a review so it's done in time for you folks to devour first thing in the morning), I can't tell you whether or not Memflix's review was spot on or not. But regardless, whether the guy was telling the truth in his review has nothing at all to do with this story.

Turns out Memflix is Jesse Morrison; a projectionist working in Memphis who helps screen films early for the press and such. Therefore, he's able to catch these movies long before they're set to hit theaters. But unlike those folks in the theater (who are usually requested to wait until the week of or day of to shell out their review) Memflix isn't a professional critic, and so it's his belief that he can run over to AICN to dish all the dirty details without consequence. Until now. Apparently, 20th Century Fox wasn't so happy about that review (and who can blame them), so what they did was track down the identity of this kid, call up his boss and (according to Morrison) "threatened to take away the press and trade screenings" at the theater(s) in question, which happens to be part of the Malco Theater chain in Memphis.

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DoubleClick’s Rich Media Services Power Eight of the Current Top 10 Films

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
doubleclick logo Ad serving company DoubleClick announced today that their Rich Media and Video services are powering eight of the top ten current box office releases. Among the releases currently using their services include: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Knocked Up, Shrek the Third, Spider-Man 3, Bug, 28 Weeks Later and Waitress. You can check out a sample of the recent ads here.

With trailers among the most consumed and searched for video content on the web, tightly integrating that content directly into the advertisements has become a basic requirement for launching a theatrical release. DoubleClick released a report a few months back that showed a sizable increase in click-throughs with video served within advertisements (you can read their study data here). Given Google's recent $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, it is likely that some element of their ad serving and rich media technologies will eventually become accessible to smaller distributors as well. While even today anyone can place video and audio ads via Google’s Adwords system, the dynamic, rich advertisements that the studios are currently using aren’t possible through current self-service tools.

Disney gets risqué with Unrated release of ‘Badder Santa’

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

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Disney Home Entertainment will be releasing an unrated cut of ‘Bad Santa’ tentative titled ‘Badder Santa: Unrated Edition’ on Blu-Ray, High-Def Digest reports. While the release date is set for November 20th, the raunchy details of the disc’s contents are still under wraps. With the former Buena Vista Units all now bearing the Disney moniker, Dimension no longer a Disney Label, and Touchstone long buried, Disney doesn’t really have an appropriate label for gross-out comedy anymore.

To date, all versions of ‘Bad Santa’ have sold more than 1.38 million units on DVD, according to Nielsen Videoscan.

Best Buy partners with the Rolling Stones on DVD Exclusive

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
Best Buy Logo The Rolling Stones and Best Buy have partnered on a new exclusive DVD Release for the second time in four years, according to Businesswire. Called The Biggest Bang, this four DVD set of the Stones’ recent record-breaking tour will be available starting June 12 for $29.99 exclusively at Best Buy’s retail and online stores. The Biggest Bang features duets with Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt and Eddie Vedder, among others, and features over 50 songs and footage from around the world. Previously, Best Buy released Four Flicks, a 19-times platinum Rolling Stones set that remains the number one selling concert DVD in U.S. history according to Nielsen Soundscan.

The release comes at the height of the “retail exclusive” trend. With price search engines on the web leveling the playing field, retailers have been pressured to come up with limited, exclusive versions or outright exclusive releases to help drive traffic to lagging retailers. In the past year, Best Buy has been at the forefront with home entertainment exclusives, with some notable releases being The Office Severance Package, a Scrubs bonus DVD, and a two week Apple iTV exclusive. While a boon for retailers, these special releases are making DVD distributors work harder (and less profitably) for what amounts to similar buying levels from DVD’s sales peak in 2005. That being said, the collaborative nature of these projects has strengthened the distributor-buyer relationship, and has helped to make distributors become more customer-centric.

Report: PC Usage for Movie Downloading and Viewing Rises

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

According to a new report titled “At the Click of a Mouse” by Solutions Research Group, the PC is morphing from a work-related device to a digital “life hub,” with movie downloading and viewing being a core activity. According to the study, 47% of US-based PC users watched DVDs on their computers in May 2007, up from 29% last October. Over 15% of users had downloaded a full-length movie from the web (although only 8% of those were paid downloads.) The report also notes that 66% of surveyed consumers believe that one day, “all movies will be available at the click of a mouse,” with nearly three quarters of those between 30-49 believing the statement to be true.

Despite the enthusiasm, the report notes that only 30% of consumers have visited the movie sections at iTunes, with even less (under 10%) for WalMart and Amazon’s Unbox. Netflix is showing some promise out of the gate, however, with one in three users of that service having used their online instant viewing feature in the last month.

To download a PDF summary sheet of the research report, click here.

Fox and Peach Arch team with Reader’s Digest Family Films to Produce ‘Ace of Hearts’

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
Reader's Digest This week, production began on ‘Ace of Hearts’, the first release under the new Reader’s Digest Family Films brand, according to a company press release. Peach Arch Entertainment is producing the film and will handle international distribution, while Fox will handle domestic marketing and distribution. Reader’s Digest will leverage its 40 million subscriber base (the largest magazine in America) via direct marketing, print and online promotions worldwide. The company also plans on leveraging its 26 other publications and web properties. The deal was brokered by the William Morris Agency and the Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Stiffelman, Gilbert-Lurie, Cook, Johnson & Wolf law firm.

Starring Dean Cain, ‘Ace of Hearts’ is a family adventure film following the adventures of a cop and his loyal German Shepard as they battle forces with a pack of wily criminals out for revenge. The film is tentatively slated for an early 2006 release. The script is based on a story that originally appeared in Reader’s Digest in 2002.

Jessica Simpson’s ‘Blonde Ambition’ Trailer Is Up

Monday, May 14th, 2007

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Or, as I've decided to call it, Jessica Simpson Doesn't Wear A Bra: The Movie. The first trailer for Blonde Ambition (aka the movie people thought was a loose remake of Working Girl) has just arrived online and, while I often try to reserve judgment until the thing at least hits theaters, I have to say this is one of the worst trailers I have ever seen. God, it's awful. And it's not even Simpson that makes it look so horrible; it just has this direct-to-DVD smell that permeates my brain cells. How, again, did they get Luke Wilson to star in this thing? "Millenium Films presents a story about knowing who you are and where you belong." Heh, I'll tell you where this film belongs ...

In case you're curious, Simpson plays some sort of small town hick who, using advice given to her by Willie Nelson (there's an on-screen reunion we were all just dying to see), decides to pack a bag and head to New York City in an attempt to shack up with an old boyfriend .... or something like that. However, when she finds out he's no longer interested, she crashes with Rachael Leigh Cook and tries to find some work. Luckily, there's some big corporate types looking for a dumb blonde to "manipulate" (fine plot point if I may say so myself). Throw in yet another corny performance from Andy Dick (Wow! Two awesome on-screen reunions in one flick!), and you have yourself Blonde Ambition; a film that's, thankfully, nothing like Working Girl. Feel free to call me out if you think I'm wrong, but this flick has 'Razzie Award' written all over it.

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