10 times off-the-beaten-path marketing worked for a movie

Shazam: Fury of the Gods received exciting announcements that got fans excited about the first film, but there is still tough competition as it will be released five days later. Avatar 2. It’s a bold move by Warner Bros. from Avatar: The Way of the Water is a sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time.

The studio is apparently taking the counter-programming approach by releasing a fun, light-hearted, and much shorter film for those not interested in the overly serious three-hour epic. Counter-programming in the motion picture industry is a marketing strategy that targets the demographic group opposed to a much larger movie being released at the same time, and Shazam 2 is not the first example.


Deadpool release coincides with Valentine’s Day

Marketing has been so instrumental in Dead Pool’It was a success, and it couldn’t have been more important, as the studio had been hesitant to greenlight the film in the first place, and the film barely escaped development hell. The first one dead Pool The movie has pulled off a ton of marketing stunts, from viral videos, April Fool’s Day announcements, to “leaked” footage. But the icing on the cake was his counter-programming.

The superhero movie was released over Valentine’s Day weekend in 2016. However, it’s not just any superhero movie. It’s one of the most vulgar, violent, and offensive superhero movies of all time. And the counter-programming worked so well because it competed with how to be singlewhich has been almost forgotten.

Mamma Mia release coincides with The Dark Knight

These days, whenever two huge movies are due out on the same date, a studio inevitably bows out. One of the most recent examples is Wick jeans 4as it was delayed 10 months after originally having the same release date as Top Gun: Maverick (Going through Deadline). This could have been the case with The black Knightbecause few studios would have dared to compete with the first billion-dollar superhero movie.

However, Mom Mia was not afraid, and although the Batman the film broke box office records, the musical grossed a phenomenal $600 million despite mixed reviews (via box office mojo). And it was a perfect example of counter-programming. There’s nothing more opposite to a dark, gritty superhero movie than an upbeat musical based on the music of ABBA.

Bridesmaids release coincides with Thor

Bridesmaids came out a few days later Thor, and while the general public is still not fully aware that the superhero movie leads into a much larger cinematic universe, studios would like to avoid a Marvel superhero movie of any kind. Just because audiences didn’t know the MCU was a thing doesn’t mean the movie won’t be a hit, and it was, as it grossed nearly half a billion dollars (via box office mojo).

However, there is not a huge crossover between Thor public and Bridesmaids public, and this is one of the best examples of counter-programming. Whereas Thor could have been a box office goliath, Bridesmaids had a better chance against the Marvel movie than if it came out on Valentine’s Day along with a sea of ​​other rom-coms. Because of that, the movie has grossed nearly $300 million (via box office mojo), but it also helped that the 2011 film was one of the best female-led comedies.

There’s Something About Mary’s Release That Coincides With Zorro’s Mask

This is one of the great examples of David defeating Goliath movies. There’s something about Mary wanted to win over a rom-com crowd that wasn’t interested in The Mask of Zorro, but it is actually the other way around. While Cameron Diaz was an established, bankable movie star, Ben Stiller wasn’t quite there. But despite the fact that it faced a film that was part of an IP and there was a huge marketing campaign behind it, the film not only did well, but even surpassed The Mask of Zorro.

Surprisingly, the comedy, which had a relatively low budget of $23 million, was a phenomenal success and grossed even more than the hit action movie of $100 million. It wasn’t even close, because the Zorro underperforming film, grossing just $250 million (via box office mojo), while There’s something about Mary earned over $100 million more, with a total box office gross of $370 million (via box office mojo).

The Truman Show release coinciding with Godzilla

The Truman Show hardly needed to brazenly compete with a movie that has nothing to do with it, because The Truman Show is easily Jim Carrey’s best film. The studio might have thought it had to do such a thing, because it was the first example of the actor going against type and starring in a drama as opposed to the goofy comedy movies he’s been for. known.

The film arrived a week later Godzillaand there was little competition, as the monster movie bombed at the box office (via box office mojo). Ironically, it’s almost as if the studio planned the counter-programming early on in the script-writing process, as the film opens with a voice-over that explains, “We’ve had enough of pyrotechnics and special effects”. Given by Godzilla reception, it’s no wonder The Truman Show has an almost prophetic heritage.

Straight Outta Compton’s release coincides with summer blockbusters

In 2015, the summer movie releases were all blockbuster action movies, and since they all made billions of dollars, it would be hard to believe that a period drama would be so successful. But few studios thought about counter-programming in the summer, except one. While most studios wait to release high-profile dramas around awards season, which is usually the end of the year, Universal Pictures has shockingly released Straight outta Compton at the height of summer in mid-August.

The film had a ton of competition, as it came off the heels of so many blockbusters, including The man from UNCLE, The Fantastic Fourand Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. While some of them were leftovers, meaning they were a few weeks into their theatrical run, Straight outta Compton still managed to pass many on its opening weekend. And even more impressively, it made $100 million more than The Man from UNCLE (via box office mojo).

Ocean’s 8 release coincides with the World Cup

Even though the United States is not a big soccer country, even Americans get involved when it comes to the World Cup, and that’s why studios are a little hesitant to release expensive movies in June. and July every four years. But Warner Bros. released the all-female film Ocean 8 over the period, and the film was more successful than it otherwise would have been, even though it tied into a well-known franchise.

But Ocean 8 wasn’t the first to do so, and there’s a long history of studios releasing films that appeal to women at huge football events. sex and the city was released during the 2008 European Championship, helping it gross over $400 million (via box office mojo). And Blame it on our stars was released during the 2014 World Cup, which is why the low-budget movie grossed $300 million (via box office mojo).

Pitch Perfect 2 release coincides with Mad Max: Fury Road

The first one Perfect was a huge success, making around $115 million worldwide on a shoestring budget (via box office mojo). And while Perfect location 2 could have been just as successful without counter-programming, by timing its release with Mad Max: Fury Road was a stroke of genius.

road of fury was both a legacy sequel and did something new with the franchise, not to mention it’s one of the most spectacular action movies of the last decade and it’s not based on digital effects. But Universal knew there were millions who had no interest in violent action sequences in a dystopian future. As a result, the studio released Perfect location 2 just a week after the action movie, and it grossed nearly $300 million (via box office mojo).

Notting Hill exit coincides with the Phantom Menace

In 1999, the biggest film event was undoubtedly Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, as it was the return to the franchise after 16 years, and there had never been so much hype around a movie before. Many studios have taken their movies off the release schedule to let the star wars the film dominates without crushing the successes of the other films. And they were right, like The Phantom Menace made $1.8 billion adjusted for inflation.

However, one studio has not backed down, as Universal has always released Notting Hill just a week after its release, which was no doubt aimed at romance fans who were tired of hearing about Darth Maul and pod racing. The film earned $363 million (via box office mojo), which was almost unheard of for a romantic comedy at the time, especially when competing with a billion-dollar blockbuster movie.

My Best Friend’s Wedding Exit Coincides with Batman and Robin

However batman and robin was universally bonkers, there was no telling how bad the movie was until it was released, and most studios would have assumed it would have been a hit. But Sony still released The wedding of my best friend exactly the same day. It was a clever use of counter-programming, but the rom-com also benefited from the fact that the superhero movie was universally hated, and the film starring Julia Roberts surprisingly ended up grossing $60 million from more … than batman and robin (Going through box office mojo).

However, as both The wedding of my best friend and Notting Hill star Roberts, and both have performed extremely well at the box office despite having successful films, giving full credit to the counter-programming might be a disservice to the actor. Roberts was a bankable star at the time, and she just happened to choose to star in low- and mid-budget rom-coms. Any movie starring Roberts in the 1990s was a hit. Thus, even if the Batman movie was meant to bomb, it would have been interesting to see how batman and robin played if Roberts played Poison Ivy instead of Uma Thurman.

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