Selling Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood

My latest post for The Hollywood Reporter is a recap of the marketing campaign for Quentin Tarantino’s latest opus, Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood.

The star-powered promotional campaign recreates an industry era where foundational shifts were underway as major events like the Manson Family murders were leading to a loss of innocence.

This mix of fiction and non-fiction is tracking for an estimated $30 million-plus opening weekend. Not being part of a franchise or connected cinematic universe, the campaign has used Tarantino’s name recognition and the fact his movies are celebrated as cultural milestones among cinephiles as a brand hook on which the marketing is hung.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling The Lion King

My latest post for The Hollywood Reporter is a recap of the marketing campaign for The Lion King, one that was aided by the fact I was able to interview Disney’s President of Marketing to get background information on the effort.

A strategically timed “pulsed” campaign by the studio aligned its promotional beats with big cross-demographic cultural moments.

That campaign has included not only the usual mix of trailers, posters and advertising (billboards and social media) but an extensive collection of promotional partnerships and event appearances that sometimes break out of what’s usually found in movie marketing efforts.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling Stuber

My latest column at The Hollywood Reporter recaps the marketing campaign for the buddy comedy Stuber.

The studio has run a campaign that counts on both Bautista and Nanjiani being popular, attention-grabbing stars and that audiences are ready for a return of the buddy comedy genre that was so popular in the 80s. Tracking estimates an opening weekend between $7 million and $10 million, in line with movies like Late Night and Long Shot.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling Spider-Man: Far From Home

My latest marketing recap column at The Hollywood Reporter covers the campaign for Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Sony and Marvel Studios are pushing Spider-Man: Far From Home as essential viewing for the post-Avengers: Endgame storyline.

The movie arrives with tracking estimates predicting a $150 million opening weekend and a 90 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, buoyed by early reviews that have called it an entertaining and mostly light-hearted epilogue to Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And its release in China, Japan and Hong Kong has already brought in $111 million before it hits U.S. screens.

You can read the whole thing here.

And you can listen to the 1994 Traffic album of the same name that played in my head every time anyone mentioned this movie’s title here.

2019’s Most Interesting Movie Campaigns

My latest post for Adweek is a recap of the movie campaigns from the first half of 2019 I felt were most interesting or compelling, not necessarily the ones that supported the year’s most successful movies.

The following list is presented in no particular order other than that in which they caught my eye while reviewing the year’s releases. It includes movies both big and small; ones you’ve never heard of and ones you couldn’t miss if you tried; ones that have come out in theaters and ones hitting streaming services first.

You can read the whole thing here.