March 27, 2012 Leave a comment
“The Hunger Games” $155 million dollar opening is third highest in history notes this NYT article, and portends an estimated $500-$700 million dollar total take. What’s extraordinary about this “The Hunger Games” box office is that it was not launched during the traditional summer blockbuster period nor was it done in 3D. Even bigger news is the impact of a relatively meager $45 million dollar “The Hunger Games” marketing budget (administered by a smaller than normal staff of a little more than 20) compared with the average big move launch that is generally more than twice that amount.
How did Lionsgate do it? Careful, thoughtful, strategic marketing that started with the launch of the book series in 2008 (now estimated at sales of 24 million) and culminated with a multifaceted integrated online campaign. The stunning new media campaign cultivated fans with content development that integrated a website, multiple Face book pages/communities, Twitter streams and You tube. It garnered over 800,000 registered fans on the website for their custom for digital ID cards, resulted in over 17.7 million You Tube views inspired fans to participate in a scavenger hunt contest that sent them to over 100 different web sites.
This disciplined albeit dizzying integrated approach was carefully crafted as Forbes reports “ There is even a formal brand architecture for the franchise that enforces strict guidelines for promoting The Hunger Games: never show the games themselves, no use of the phrase “Let the Games Begin,” don’t talk about children dying.”
“The Hunger Games” is the poster child of movie marketing in new media. It’s a study in brilliant and successful marketing strategy and deployment. Great case example of new media done right.
Room for discussion:
“The Hunger Games” success is also big news for the movie business which feared the lack of content left by the final Harry Potter release and upcoming final Twilight movie sequel. What new book franchises are possible entrants into this same space? Which do you see succeeding and why?