Blockbusters part 2.


New Marketing Techniques (Jaws)

  • The marketing techniques used built upon the tactics deplyoed by the Godfather.
  • In two weeks prior to Jaws' general release, Spielberg Benchley Zanuck and Brown toured 11 U.S. cities saturating every major market.
  • Time magazine cover story during the week prior to release. - considered one of the most important factors.
  • Once studio executives had seen the film at a March screening, they decided to cut back on the number of theatres screening it from 1,000 to 409. This meant that it would permit the film to play for a longer period of time at each theatre.
  • Each market spent approximately 47 percent of money in print media and the other 53 percent on electronic media, TV and radio.
  • Attempted to buy 30-second commercials on every primetime show.
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New Tech / Merch (Star Wars)

  • Video games, comic books, cereal, trading cards, soundtracks, clothes, toys and novels.
  • Merchandising was huge - even introduced an 'empty box campaign'. The toy companies didn't expect the film to be such a hit so when sales went through the roof, they didn't have enough physical toys and so sold vouchers for Star Wars toys several years in advance. The customer bought an empty box with the promise that htey would get an action figure once enough had been produced.
  • Transformed the way films are marketed; it was always part of the plan. It was not an afterthought. Before the film opened, they had Alan Dean Foster's novelisation and the Marvel Star Wars comics. After, they had posters, costumes and clothing. Most importantly, toys. Today, everything from instant coffee to toothpaste is being used to advertise the new film. Everything under the sun that could be merchandised.
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How multiplex cinemas saved the British film indus

  • The Point - 10 screens, the UK's first true multiplex, 1985.
  • The increased choice of films. state-of-the-art technology, copious free parking spaces and vast array of snacks on sale made an immediate impact on the stagnant British market.
  • The Point sold 2m tickets in its first two years, a miracle in a time that had seen national cinema attendance drop to just 55m in 1984.
  • Between 1987 and 1992 500 new scnreens sprung up nationwide and cinema admissions had risen to 100m. 
  • Also caused trouble for small, independant cinemas. In Milton Keynes, two loval cinemas that had been open since 1912, closed after the Point. It was seen as the McDonald's of the film industry. 
  • Mark Batey says 'Consumers had forgotten about cinema.' 
  • The mutliplex nowadays is evolving, as digital projection and 3D cinema become more prevelant. 
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  • Fleapit cinemas closed due to overwhelming monopoly of the Multiplexes.
  • Creation of TV (1955) and it's growth brought cinema attendances down anyways and since there were huge, luxury cinemas to go to, people would rather stay at home or go there - not fleapits.
  • Multiplexes offered a greater choice of films, a wider variety of viewing times, seats could be booked and reserved, they were family friendly, had state of the art equipment (Dolby sound), took advantage of out of town locations to offer free parking, were cleaned regularly and were more comfortable, they were cost efficient in that multi screens could be operatede by one projectionist, were aimed at young audiences (couples seats provided), popularised film to a new level.
  • Proliferation of american filmmaking in the 1980s meant more films were being made - loval cinemas could offer a limited choice only.
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