What are the major innovations in theatrical marketing in Italy’
Stefano Massenzi, Lucky Red: There has been more attention to in-theatre promotion. Advertising has become extremely expensive and you try to go for your audience first and then if you have more money you build out. The internet has become very important especially for younger audiences. From Facebook to viral marketing to everything that is available.
Antonio Medici, BIM Distribuzione: The arrival of the new web technologies. Until a few years ago it wasn’t even there and now it is increasing and changing the way we work every time we release a movie.
Maria Grazia Vairo, Eagle Pictures: Films have less shelf life, and the competition is tougher. You have to do more to get noticed these days. Opening well is key, and that may mean spending more money for that awareness. Word of mouth is great, but you need to open well in order to be on screens long enough for word of mouth to work.
How is the internet transforming the way a film is marketed’
SM: It’s a further means of promotion but you need your traditional as well.
AM: Sometimes we prepare special materials as we did for Shortbus two years ago. We created an online game, which for us was completely new.
MGV: You can get the buzz going on a movie virally. However, the internet is more useful as a publicity tool than as paid advertising. I see it as a complement to your campaign or an alternative way to reach a specific audience if you don’t have a substantial budget.
Are distributors spending more or less on marketing than a few years ago’
SM: Unfortunately more because of competition. We are competing with big players and they spend a lot of money.
AM: More. The fact is that people only go to see some movies and concentrate more and more on a few titles.
MGV: More. In order to be competitive you have to be visible. To be visible, you have to be on TV and TV ads are expensive.
Is TV advertising still the most important element of a campaign’ If not, what is’
SM: Yes, you have to position it, but to get a mass audience it is the most important.
AM: It depends on the movie. What is for sure is it is the most expensive. I am not sure it is the most effective. For our type of movie I would say the most effective would be creating a network of people - to create some buzz on the film before it comes out.
MGV: For a commercial film, yes it is. With a smart TV campaign, you will get more gross ratings points than any other means used to market a film, including the internet, radio, or outdoor. Those means should be used to compliment a campaign, not be the heart of it.
What is the most important thing to know - and do - when releasing a film in your territory’
SM: Choose the date and build good materials based on the elements that can allow you to sell the movie successfully.
AM: To choose the right release date is very, very, important. A strategy we launched some years ago was to release films at the end of January because many of our films get Oscar nominations.
MGV: One of the most important things is defining your audience. You can spend less money for a targeted ad campaign and still have success if you know how and where to speak to the audience you want to reach. A great title and impressive visual materials will always be your calling card for a film, so it’s important that a lot of thought and effort go into that.
Which recent campaigns have impressed you’
SM: Of our own films, The Wrestler because we went for a double target audience. We used what was used in the US and other territories and positioned it as an arthouse film, the “Golden Lion winner”. Then we also built the campaign on the comeback, on the hero, “Rocky-style”. We concentrated on the character and it will probably (produce) one of the top results in the world.
AM: I believe we did a really good job with Persepolis. I think we got big results. The movie ended up doing $1.7m (EUR1.3m). For that kind of cartoon in Italy that is huge.
MGV: A small film that we really marketed well and tailored to Italian tastes was Easy Virtue (which is) an impossible title for Italy so it became Un Matrimonio All’Inglese, which translates to “An English Marriage”. The word ‘marriage’ in the title often works in Italy. We also changed the poster artwork and made a shorter trailer and even shorter TV spots that really worked. No one in the company was expecting it to do the numbers it did.
How will films be marketed 10 years from now’
AM: Now the web is 10% of the overall (marketing) budget and I believe in 10 years that new technologies will be 70%.
|TOP 100, ITALY, 2008|
|Title (Origin) Distributor||US$|
|1||Natale A Rio (It) Filmauro||$23.9m|
|2||Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (US) UPI||$23.6m|
|3||Kung Fu Panda (US) UPI||$23m|
|4||I Am Legend (US) Warner Bros||$18.8m|
|5||Grande, Grosso E Verdone (It) Filmauro||$17.5m|
|6||Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore (It) Medusa||$17.1m|
|7||Hancock (US) Spri||$16.2m|
|8||Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The … (US) UPI||$15.5m|
|9||Twilight (US) Eagle Pictures||$15.4m|
|10||Gomorrah (It) 01 Distribution||$13.8m|
|11||American Gangster (US) UPI||$13.5m|
|12||Il Cosmo Sul Como’ (It) Medusa||$13.3m|
|13||The Dark Knight (US) Warner Bros||$12.8m|
|14||High School Musical 3: Senior Year (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$12.4m|
|15||Mamma Mia! The Movie (US-UK) UPI||$12m|
|16||Wall-E (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$11.8m|
|17||The Kite Runner (US) Filmauro||$11.1m|
|18||The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$10.9m|
|19||L’Allenatore Nel Pallone 2 (It) Medusa||$10.4m|
|20||Parlami D’Amore (It) 01 Distribution||$10.1m|
|21||La Fidanzata Di Papa’ (It) Medusa||$9.7m|
|22||Quantum Of Solace (US-UK) Spri||$9.6m|
|23||Iron Man (US) UPI||$9.4m|
|24||Sex And The City: The Movie (US) 01 Distribution||$9.1m|
|25||Burn After Reading (US) Medusa||$8.3m|
|26||Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Sp-US) Medusa||$7.9m|
|27||No Country For Old Men (US) UPI||$7.8m|
|28||The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon … (US) UPI||$7.33m|
|29||Quiet Chaos (It) 01 Distribution||$7.3m|
|30||Una Moglie Bellissima (It) Medusa||$7.15m|
|31||10,000 B.C. (US) Warner Bros||$7.1m|
|32||Changeling (US) UPI||$7m|
|33||Into The Wild (US) BIM||$6.9m|
|34||Bolt (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$6.84m|
|35||Un’Estate Al Mare (It) Medusa||$6.8m|
|36||Black And White (It) 01 Distribution||$6.7m|
|37||Il Divo (It) Lucky Red||$6.2m|
|38||Body Of Lies (US) Warner Bros||$6.1m|
|39||Cassandra’s Dream (UK) Filmauro||$5.9m|
|40||Natale In Crociera (It) Filmauro||$5.6m|
|41||The Day The Earth Stood Still (US) 20th Fox||$5.43m|
|42||The Incredible Hulk (US) Universal||$5.4m|
|43||Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber … (US) Warner Bros||$5.33m|
|44||Alvin And The Chipmunks (US) 20th Fox||$5.3m|
|45||Tutta La Vita Davanti (It) Medusa||$5.28m|
|46||Wanted (US) Universal||$5.21m|
|47||No Problem (It) Medusa||$5.2m|
|48||Step Up 2: The Streets (US) Moviemax||$5.1m|
|49||Rambo (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$5m|
|50||Nights In Rodanthe (US) Warner Bros||$4.94m|
|51||Tropic Thunder (US) UPI||$4.93m|
|52||National Treasure: Book Of … (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$4.91m|
|53||Asterix At The Olympic Games (Fr) Warner Bros||$4.7m|
|54||Giovanna’s Father (It) Medusa||$4.6m|
|55||Righteous Kill (US) 01 Distribution||$4.5m|
|56||What Happens In Vegas (US) 20th Fox||$4.4m|
|57||Questa Notte E’ Ancora … (It) Walt Disney Smpi||$4.3m|
|58||Cloverfield (US) UPI||$4.1m|
|59||A Perfect Day (It) 01 Distribution||$4.08m|
|60||Welcome To The Sticks (Fr) Medusa||$4.06m|
|61||Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (US) Medusa||$4m|
|62||Hellboy II: The Golden Army (US) UPI||$3.99m|
|63||Next (US) Medusa||$3.97m|
|64||Lions For Lambs (US) 20th Fox||$3.96m|
|65||Superhero Movie (US) Medusa||$3.9m|
|66||Jumper (US) 20th Fox||$3.8m|
|67||Saw IV (US) 01 Distribution||$3.77m|
|68||You Don’t Mess With The Zohan (US) Spri||$3.71m|
|69||As God Commands (It) 01 Distribution||$3.6m|
|70||Babylon A.D. (Fr) Moviemax||$3.58m|
|71||Colpo D’Occhio (It) 01 Distribution||$3.524m|
|72||Nim’s Island (US) Moviemax||$3.52m|
|73||The Golden Compass (US) 01 Distribution||$3.48m|
|74||30 Days Of Night (US) Medusa||$3.391m|
|75||21 (US) Spri||$3.39m|
|76||The Happening (US) 20th Fox||$3.3m|
|77||27 Dresses (US) 20th Fox||$3.29m|
|78||Saw V (US) 01 Distribution||$3.26m|
|79||Meet The Spartans (US) 20th Fox||$3.212m|
|80||Bee Movie (US) UPI||$3.21m|
|81||Disaster Movie (US) Eagle Pictures||$3.16m|
|82||Halloween (US) Lucky Red||$3.14m|
|83||Leatherheads (US) UPI||$3.12m|
|84||Horton Hears A Who! (US) 20th Fox||$3.1m|
|85||Charlie Wilson’s War (US) UPI||$2.98m|
|86||The Spiderwick Chronicles (US) UPI||$2.95m|
|87||Solo Un Padre (It) Warner Bros||$2.93m|
|88||Mid-August Lunch (It) Fandango||$2.84m|
|89||Get Smart (US) Warner Bros||$2.8m|
|90||Juno (US) 20th Fox||$2.7m|
|91||The Bucket List (US) Warner Bros||$2.53m|
|92||Couscous (Fr) Lucky Red||$2.51m|
|93||Made Of Honor (US) Spri||$2.36m|
|94||La Seconda Volta Non Si Scorda Mai (It) Mikado||$2.35m|
|95||There Will Be Blood (US) Walt Disney Smpi||$2.28m|
|96||Love In The Time Of Cholera (US) 01 Distribution||$2.27m|
|97||Si Puo’ Fare (It) Warner Bros Italia||$2.25m|
|98||The Class (Fr) Mikado||$2.22m|
|99||Lust, Caution (US-Ch-Tai-HK) BIM||$2.14m|
|100||Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (US) Moviemax||$2.1m|
|Source: Cinetel. Exchange rate EUR1 = $1.35|