Posted by Rande Iaboni on June 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm
By now I’m sure you have heard about a little film called ‘Prometheus‘ directed by none other than Ridley Scott. Even if you weren’t interested in it there’s no doubt you have seen some form of marketing for the film, it was everywhere! And it looks like the clever marketing by 20th Century Fox has paid off, in a big way. The science-fiction film took in an estimated $50M domestically on opening weekend. That’s not even including international sales which brings its worldwide total to a staggering $141.5M! For an R-rated film that cost around $130M to make that is pretty damn good. So what exactly was it that made this film so successful in its opening weekend? Well for starters it had Ridley Scott at the helm, the man is a legend in science-fiction and seeing as how he started the ‘Alien’ franchise it’s no surprise he would be a big box office draw. Then there was also the cast involved which included the lovely Charlize Theron and uber-talented Michael Fassbender, along with original ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ star Noomi Rapace (which probably was a huge draw for the foreign box office intake). But despite all of that what really made this film stand out was the creative marketing strategy conducted by 20th Century Fox.
I had a chance to check ‘Prometheus’ out in theaters this weekend and one thing that really stuck with me was the element of surprise in this film. I had watched and dissected the trailer for the film countless times (seriously, more times than I can count!) but yet I still didn’t have a full grasp of what this film was all about or what to expect. Don’t you hate when you watch a trailer for a movie and when you finally check the film out you realize you knew every funny line, every scary scene, and every plot twist because of the advertisements? I know I do! But that certainly wasn’t the case with ‘Prometheus.’ The trailer gave us just enough to intrigue us, but not enough to inform us. Check out the trailer below, man that score still gives me chills!
Same goes for the plot synopsis provided to us, “A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.” Upon first reading that it appears we have a solid idea of what this film is about, but once you’ve seen the film you realize that synopsis has only touched upon the outer layer of what this film really does. The TV Spots and any other commercials even managed to show additional footage not previewed in the trailer but still not give anything too crucial away.
Not to mention the online viral campaign for this film was innovative and once again, didn’t give away too much but let our imaginations run wild. First there was the Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) ‘Quiet Eye’ video that gave us a great introduction to our new heroine! I came to find out that this was also Noomi Rapace’s screen test for the film (by request of the studio, Ridley Scott had already convinced himself she was right for the part). Then there was the David (Michael Fassbender) video introducing us to the android of the film, cleverly playing as an advertisement for the robot instead of a preview for the film. FOX was smart to focus on the characters of David and Elizabeth Shaw, as they were definitely the most important and interesting characters in the film (for me at least). You can check both viral videos below:
So there you have it Banters. Thanks to one of the most mysterious and innovative marketing campaigns of the year, ‘Prometheus’ beat the R-rated odds and opened with a solid 50+ million weekend! To all you studio execs out there (echem Mr. Horn – who just took over for Disney’s recently removed Rich Ross – a la the John Carter bust), THIS is how you market a film!
Did you get a chance to see ‘Prometheus’ this weekend Banters? And what did you think of 20th Century Fox’s promotions for the film?