Saturday, November 6, 2010

Marketing Matters

I've come to the conclusion that animated features are overexposed.

The amount of money studios spend on marketing and advertising for movies is truly insane. It can be almost as much as they spend on actually making the movie itself.

Pixar and Dreamworks tend to be the biggest offenders, routinely spending well over $100 million a film to convince you to buy your tickets. (UP cost $175 million to make and likely cost another $150 million to advertise) And from what I can tell, it's not worth it.

Animated films have become the"safe" movies to go to; the ones that you can easily assume will be funny without being confusing or disappointing; not just films for

When I went to see Megamind today the row in front of me had 3 adults in their mid-20's and the row behind me had 3 adult in their late-40's/early-50's; no kids at all.

Given the broad appeal this films have, they could save a lot of money by advertising less and I doubt it would hurt their box office numbers at all.

In the case of Megamind, it would do far better because the advertising effectively ruined the actual movie.

Here's the trailer you've been hammered with for the past several months.

Here's the problem: The whole "Metro Man is retired" thing is a plot twist. For the 50 minutes or so before that you're supposed to think that he's dead.

And note that I didn't call spoiler alert and such, because I don't have to. The movie spoiled itself with its trailers.

If you haven't seen it before (like I hadn't) here's the Comic-Con trailer:

I'd bet anything that after this trailer screened the marketing people freaked out at letting people think the protagonist of their $170 million movie killed somebody so they did theirest to sweep that under the rug even though the movie was probably 90% finished at the time.

I spent bulk of this movie unable to really care about what's going on because I already knew what was going to happen. It wasn't until the 75 minute mark (of this 95 minute movie) that I was able to actually be surprised at what was going on.

So this is a case where a movie would have been vastly better had it been advertised differently, but Megamind is also a laundry list of all the things I hate about Dreamworks films in general. Ugly designs, insincere trendiness, relying on popular songs to carry things, etc... Plus it's wall-to-wall talking. The first 8 minutes or so of this movie is Will Ferrell talking non-stop and it's all stuff you've already seen in the trailers.

Every time I've seen this poster I grunt out an audible UGH of involuntary disgust; even when I passed it as I was walking to my seat. That should've been a tipoff.

If you really love the sound of Will Ferrell's voice, go watch Megamind. And if you can find way to sneak into a screening that's already about 75 minutes in, do that; you've already seen that part anyway.

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