Eugene David
...The One-Minute Pundit

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We've been so busily gloating over SUPERNIKKI!!!!'s typos yesterday that we almost overlooked her Harvard Business School lesson in the GE-NIUS of modern movee extruding:

It's going to be hard for anyone involved in the movie to shrug off responsibility for it underperforming because even the studio was gushing pre-release about its pedigree "because of its deep bench of heavyweight filmmakers and stars, and the most fan-engaged because of involving them directly at every step, particularly through director Jon Favreau, the big-ticket director most active in social media and direct interaction with his followers. Every step of the campaign kept many hands on the wheel, shared by Universal, DreamWorks and the filmmaking team, who all worked in close collaboration on every decision." Oops! As for marketing, the first teaser trailer was placed on Part 1 of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows last November, followed by a Super Bowl teaser. The first full trailer made its debut on American Idol on April 14th and in theaters on April 29 with Universal's big hit Fast Five. The TV campaign included season finales for Top 10 Nielsen shows and sports events.

The publicity campaign launched at last year's Comic-Con even though the film had only been in production for a few weeks, Favreau used his
Iron Man connection with fans to debut nearly 8 minutes of footage, including the first alien attack on the pioneer town in the film. While Harrison Ford made his first-ever appearance to a huge reception. This year's Comic-Con featured a full-frills world premiere featuring Favreau as well as Spielberg, making his own first appearance at the Con. But it's interesting how the movie disappointed despite favreau [ZEIGFIELDIAN SIC!] whoring himself out to The Hollywood Reporter (which nobody reads) and Ain't It Cool News (which nobody believes). The director even dragged along producer Ron Howard and producer/co-writer Bob Orci to some events, showing more and more footage each time. I heard from Universal that Daniel Craig was a royal pain in the ass when it came to doing publicity, but he did enough with Harrison Ford to merit one magazine cover line, "When Bond Met Indy". (Barf!)

The usual talk show circuit was highlighted by
Jimmy Kimmel Live's "Cowboys & Aliens Week" promotion which had Favreau revisiting his Dinner For Five cable show and personally interviewing his lead cast members and filmmakers for a series of online segments. Favreau also helped create and star in a special skit with YouTube vlogging personality Freddie Wong, who specializes in action-packed and parody videos especially popular with boys. The film became the first ever to be a primary sponsor of a Nascar [SIC!] across multiple races as well as a tie-in with Coca-Cola in theater concessions via drink cups, and popcorn bags and buckets over the course of the summer in 8 of the top theater chains in North America. Other promotions with leading brands included 7-Eleven, Nestlé, Comcast, NCM/Sprint, Pemmican, and Hilton. And in addition to all that, the film made a significant Hispanic outreach across specialized media and publicity, highlighted by a closing night screening at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. Well, you can't fault anyone for lack of trying.

Au contraire: this is a case study in trying too hard. Such fist-on-jaw selling hints the product's an Edsel, and however immortal LUKE SPIELBERG and Opie are the public can see the jalopy behind the fancy grille. Indeed we are quite pleased at how so many alleged heavyweights can amass only to be knocked out by a feather.

By the way we wouldn't yell HIT! too much about the blue squirmies because if you're any more believable than AIN'T IT COOL NEWS (doubtful after yesterday) it did the Friday-Saturday swoon, and if the lazy parents weren't screaming from the charnel houses they were doing a slow fox trot out. It too was hypermarketed enough it should have doubled its gross.

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