Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Global Spin for Star Trek

In a new article from Variety, it examines the changes made to various movies advertising campaigns from region to region in an effort to sell a movie in the age of worldwide launches. It use to be a "one size fits all" effort as pretty much the same trailers were used worldwide with text and subtitles added on. Now the campaign is altered to highlight specific themes, characters and beliefs specific to the audience in the area. Star Trek was used as an example of this new age of worldwide openings but the entire article is worth a read.
In the U.S., a one-sheet featuring the U.S.S. Enterprise was enough. But Paramount also had to interest overseas auds that haven't warmed to the franchise in the past. So the studio circumnavigated the globe with splashy premieres, some before the movie's U.S. debut, including the worldwide [premiere] in Australia.

And while the film is a reboot of a popular sci-fi franchise, that isn't the way it was sold in other territories.

In Mexico and Russia, for example, the pic's poster features a huge column of fire coming down from the sky near the Golden Gate Bridge. In other territories where human drama is the appeal, the character of Captain Kirk was featured front and center, flanked by the characters of Spock and Uhura.

In Japan, the romance in a film is always played up, even when it's a big tentpole like "Star Trek, since the demo known as "office ladies" is considered crucial to a film's performance. (That's why Sony's campaigns for "Spider-Man" always featured the characters of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.)

"These women in Japan are between 20 and 40 years old, and they go to the movies by themselves, after work. That's why a movie like 'Titanic' goes bananas. These office ladies are the holy grail," one international marketing exec says.

The Japanese campaign for Disney-Pixar's "Monsters Inc." focused on the emotional relationship between Sully, one of the two monsters, and Boo, the little girl, rather than the comic interplay between beasties Sully and Mike Wazowski, which was the main selling point everywhere else around the world. The pic was a huge hit in Japan.

Par's international approach for "Star Trek" seems to have worked. "Star Trek" has grossed $125.2 million at the international B.O., by far the biggest gross of any film in the franchise.

The flurry of global premieres worked for "Trek," but there are risks involved. While Paramount's "Transformers: Revenge" has grossed north of $310 million at the international B.O. to date, the press junket didn't click with some local media.

South Korean reporters walked out on helmer Michael Bay's Q&A session, offended that he'd arrived late for both the Seoul preem and the junket. Bay later apologized for "traveling from another country and not allowing enough time for airport delays, city traffic and hotel check-in."

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