How Netflix is selling its new action drama.
Chris Hemsworth reunites with his Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo, here serving as writer and producer respectively, on the new movie Extraction, coming to Netflix this week. Hemsworth stars as Tyler Rake, a vicious and effective mercenary who is called in to rescue a young boy kidnapped as part of a conflict between warring drug lords. Rake’s ruthless and self-destructive behavior, though, threatens to make an already dangerous mission even more so.
The movie was directed by Sam Hargrave, who previously served as stunt coordinator on a number of Marvel films, including those directed by the Russos, and is based on the graphic novel “Cuidad” cocreated by the Russos along with Ande Parks and others.
Netflix’s campaign hasn’t been huge, but with zero theatrical competition at the moment the field is wide open, and so it has sold the film by using its most recognizable elements.
The first poster (by marketing agency BOND) was released at the end of March. It shows Rake kneeling and looking intense, dressed for action while a gunfight goes on behind him.
The second poster, released two weeks ago, still has Rake in the middle of chaos but this time he’s joined by the boy he’s working to rescue and it’s evident the action has passed, though a car is still on fire in the background. Both posters make sure to note just above the title that the movie come “From the visionary directors of Avengers: Endgame” in an attempt to get the audience’s attention.
After an epic dive to show how tough he is, the first trailer (5 million views on YouTube) continues establishing Rake as a dark, single-minded badass. He’s called in when the son of one drug lord is kidnapped by a rival, but the rescue quickly goes sideways when the city is locked down and escape seems impossible. Rake is repeatedly told to leave the kid, that there’s no way both of them make it out, but he sees saving him as a way to earn some redemption for himself. It’s an effective trailer, selling a big, bloody, violent film.
Online and Social
Netflix gave the movie a bit of promotion on social media, but there weren’t any dedicated sites or profiles for it.
Advertising and Promotions
Netflix got the promotional ball rolling in mid-February when it released a handful of first-look stills from the movie.
A making of featurette came out last week focusing on how Hargrave and his team put together one of the film’s key action sequences. That makes a lot of sense given his background.
Media and Press
In February there were more stills released along with an interview with comments from Hemsworth, Hargrave and the Russos.
Further interviews had Hargrave talking about how perfect Hemsworth was for the role and why he was the only real candidate for it and how the two met on the earlier Avengers films, eventually deciding to keep working together on this project.
As stated earlier, this isn’t a big campaign mounted by Netflix, which is too bad considering they largely have the marketplace to themselves at the moment. There’s no other competition right now, so it could have made a much more substantial deal about a movie like this, especially given the filmmakers involved.
The movie’s nature, which would certainly earn it an R rating were it released theatrically, might be a big reason for it not being given more marketing muscle. That hasn’t stopped Netflix or other streamers before, though, so it’s still a bit perplexing. A more likely answer might simply be that, because so many people are home at the moment and looking for something new to watch, additional paid marketing would be redundant while in-app promotions will suffice to bring viewers.
Picking Up the Spare
Interesting tidbits from Hargrave and others here about how they adjusted to the new isolation-centric reality while still actively selling the movie.
New featurettes released by Netflix after the movie came out have focused on the fight sequences , useful objects to use as weapons and car chases that make up most of the movie’s action. There was also an explainer as to where you might recognize costar Golshifteh Farahani.
The movie has gone on to become one of Netflix’s self-described best debuts of all time, something Hemsworth took a moment to thank audiences for .
Hemsworth made a virtual appearance on “Kimmel” to promote the film.