Wednesday, June 1

Summer Blockbusters

"It's rare to have a sequel be better than the original" -- that's all I heard all day yesterday upon returning to work from Memorial Day weekend.

This of course is in reference to the movie Hangover 2, the weekend premiere that set all sorts of records.

It IS unusual for a sequel to be so well received, although I have to say that I think this is the birth of more than a new movie, it's the birth of a brand. It's not like we don't know the plot concept and certainly how it's going to end, but this franchise has become a certain kind of comedic entertainment which completely seems to satisfy its audience - the mark of a great brand. And with sales skyrocketing, we are sure to see another installment from the "brand".

The other blockbuster whose marketing machine has kicked into high high gear? Cars 2. Now this sequel is a long time coming, but by looks of the tie-in with State Farm it sure won't disappoint.

Let's not forget The Bridesmaids.  Hysterical, and totally unexpected.  An early summer hit on a seemingly smaller marketing budget.  Perhaps a bit of a surprise, coming in so successfully right before the big blockbusters hit.

The most anticipated? The Green Lantern, at least from my perspective. The built in buzz and anticipation is almost guaranteeing a record opening weekend - the ultimate goal of any movie marketing plan.

I will be sure to partake on a hot summer weekend!

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. I'm really impressed with the branding that Marvel applies to their movie projects. Thor was the #1 movie two weekends in a row, in part because they marketed to the core, but also they invited new viewers to the party too. It was very engaging for women, not just fanboys.
    I'm a little concerned that Green Lantern doesn't have that "both barrels" marketing approach.

  2. With Marvel, it's a joint effort with the partnering studio - in this case Paramount. Marvel lost out on a lot of money with the earlier films like X-Men and Spiderman 1 because they did not negotiate contracts in their favor with product licensing - by that I mean they sold away the rights to, e.g., Happy Meals, etc., as part of the film promotion. Now (or at least last I heard) Marvel retains a much bigger chunk of the consumer merchandising, which makes sense because it's their properties. But the other marketing functions are backed primarily by the partner. Also, a lot of Marvel's movie contracts were negotiated a long time ago so production and distribution has been scattered all over Hollywood at several studios. Moving forward, you'll see it all move to Disney.

  3. Movie marketing is fascinating. Can't tell you how many clients ask me to generate the same amount of quick awareness for their products as what happens with movies. It's a unique formula to that industry. Jim.

  4. One thing to note, marketing (p&a in industry terminology) can often be the cost of a mid budget movie ($50-80 mm) for big budget tent pole films. Many times it can be more than that!

  5. And if you think about it, the spending is concentrated in a short window which if annualized would be HUGE! Jim.