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Hollywood Rethinking Strategies

Friday, August 19, 2005

(SNN Los Angeles) As the latest crop of summer blockbusters turn into flops, Hollywood has been left scratching it’s head on how to entice people to go to the movies.

This summer has seen disappointing returns for the movie industry.

This summer has seen disappointing returns for the movie industry. One movie “Stealth” cost the movie industry $150 million dollars and was only seen by one guy and his dog. We contacted the viewer, Sandy Sheahurst. Sandy told us, “Actually I though I was going to see ‘March of the Penguins’. I just walked into the wrong theater.

Hollywood has released a host of unwatchable movies this summer. These movies cost tens of millions to make, are targeted only to 16 to 34 year olds and have no plot. But studio executives think they may have the solution to getting people to see more movies: more advertising.

But some in Hollywood think that they merely have to get smarter with the way they target their advertising. "There might be a more effective way to spend your $2.4 million than on a 30-second spot seven months before your movie opens," says Russell Schwartz, head of marketing at New Line.

There might be a more effective way to spend your $2.4 million than on a 30-second spot

Still, some are looking at even more radical strategies. One company, the Extreme Marketing Group, pays people to see the movies. “If you take a classic example of a flop, like ‘Gigli’” says EMG’s president Mark Hammer, “and you look at what was spent on advertising, you find that you would have had a much larger audience had you just paid people $20 to see the movie. Market research has shown us that there are people who would do anything for $20; people who are addicted to crack, ghetto children, etc. And I mean anything.”

Also, marketers are attempting to do more cross promotion. To market "Wedding Crashers," New Line joined forces with Anheuser-Busch Cos., brewer of Budweiser beer, hoping that it would be easier to convince drunk people to go to a movie.


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