Jumanji: The Next Level – Marketing Recap

You can read my entire recap of the marketing campaign for Jumanji: The Next Level at The Hollywood Reporter.

Online and Social

Nothing much of note on the movie’s official website, which just wants to make sure you get the marketing content you’ve likely already seen and buy tickets now.

Media and Publicity

A first cast photo was shared in mid-March, kicking off the publicity campaign for the film.

Aside from appearances on late night talk shows by Johnson, Black, Hart and others in the cast there doesn’t seem to have been a whole lot of press activity for the movie, something common among this week’s releases.


Picking Up the Spare

Sony released a sizzle reel from the premiere event. There was also a special Comedy Central promotion on how Johnson and Hart learned to be old people.

Another nice profile on the pairing of DeVito and Glover. Meanwhile Gillan was interviewed about her unexpected career path as action hero.

Gillan appeared on “Kimmel.”

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw at The Hollywood Reporter.

Online and Social

Nothing particularly surprising on the movie’s official website, just the usual mix of marketing materials along with links to social profiles.

Media and Press

The two stars were jointly interviewed about the over-the-top story and the continuation of the F&TF franchise.

As the marketing for this film was well underway news broke that producer Neal Moritz, who had been with the franchise since the beginning, was being removed from future films by Universal, their patience with his confrontational style having reached its end. More immediately, it contended he had no standing as producer on this film since it didn’t fall under the terms of his contract because it was a spinoff of the franchise, one the studio needed to cultivate for future expansions and sequels.

A profile of Johnson focused on how this is just the latest in a string of films featuring the actor saving the world in some manner. A couple months later an EW cover story focused on Elba and his addition to the franchise as well as how he and the other two stars meshed during production.

There was also a profile of Elba on his own that covered his career and why he’s made the choices he has, including signing on to this project.

Johnson’s work to present the Samoan siva tau war dance in an authentic way – and the impact it had on him and his family – was the subject of another interview with the actor. Director David Leitch was also profiled, with the focus being on his status as one of Hollywood’s go-to guys for action films.

Late night TV appearances included Elba talking with Colbert as well as Kirby and Johnson on “Fallon.”

Kirby, who (despite a notable age difference) played Statham’s sister and Johnson’s love interest, finally got a profile of her own. Also getting a turn in the spotlight was the stunt and effects team that added their flair to the movie.

More from Leitch on certain secrets of the movie’s story here. The director was also featured in an IMAX promo video while the format company created its own short spot for the movie.


Picking Up the Spare

Leitch continued to talk about the pressure he felt taking his first stab at the franchise.

Adweek details a Snapchat sponsored AR lens that added some of the movie’s vehicles to people’s surroundings.

Skyscraper – Marketing Recap

skyscraper posterIn lieu of plot recap, which is the opening of my recap of the film’s marketing at The Hollywood Reporter, I will simply direct your attention to this Skyscraper-themed thread from Screencrush’s Matt Singer.

Online and Social

The movie’s official website opens with the trailer and when you close it there are big buttons encouraging you to watch it again or find out about the VR experience. In addition to the usual content like a gallery, story synopsis and so on, there’s a seperate site where you can Discover the Pearl, the hotel where the action takes place. There you can find out about the building’s construction and engineering, discover its eco-friendly features and more. That’s a nice feature that adds context to the story, helping anyone who’s checked it out have all that in mind.

Media and Publicity

There’s been an odd lack of publicity by Johnson and others for this release, strange considering the actor has so many movies coming out throughout the year that he’s pretty much constantly on the media circuit. Johnson and director Rawson Marshall Thurber talked in a joint interview about this movie and the state of Hollywood in general but there wasn’t a whole lot of other earned media happening.


If there’s any problem I have with the marketing, it’s that the nods to the kinds of 1970s disaster movies it wants to invoke are ill-placed. This movie has more in common with Die Hard than with The Towering Inferno, so it should have leaned more heavily in that direction. It’s a small nit to pick, but unless you’ve got a cast of 7-8 “that guy/woman” types who are also running around the burning building and dying off one-by-one as they find a way out, don’t go there.


It was apparent in the film’s campaign, but the distinct lack of sense of humor was one (at least potential) reason the movie didn’t perform up to expectations at the box-office. While I haven’t seen it, the problem likely stems from how it adds the element of putting the hero’s wife and children in the middle of the action. That increases the stakes, but it also makes a wise-cracking protagonist odd and out of place. You’ll note that Die Hard, which the movie clearly was aspiring to be, avoided that.


Dwayne Johnson and director Rawson Marshall talk here about Neve Campbell’s character, who was all but missing completely from the campaign.


This is an interesting profile of Johnson and the clout he wields, including his formidable social media presence.


Also, the movie has come under some scrutiny as another example of Hollywood casting an able-bodied actor to play a disabled character, which is part of a bigger conversation around representation.


Costar Bryon Mann has received a bit more attention in the last few days, with a couple interviews that let him talk about his career, working in his home city of Hong Kong as well as the movie specifically.
Dwayne Johnson started making the late night talk show rounds in the last couple days, including an appearance on “Colbert.”

Rampage – Marketing Recap

rampage poster 2Dwayne Johnson continues his efforts to appear in a full half of Hollywood’s yearly output by starring in this week’s big special-effects action film Rampage, based on the classic video game of the same name. Johnson plays Davis Okoye, a primatologist at a zoo who shares a special bond with a gorilla named George, who he rescued at a young age.

One night George gets out of his enclosure and is exposed to a chemical being released from a strange object that had fallen from the sky. The next day the gorilla is twice his normal size and just keeps getting bigger. That draws the attention of the feds, who want to know what’s happening, as does Okoye. Soon everyone realizes George wasn’t the only animal feeling the effects of the chemical, leading to a climactic showdown in the streets of Chicago between a massive gorilla, wolf and alligator.

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – Marketing Recap

jumanji poster 20The premise of the first Jumanji was pretty simple: A man who’s been trapped in a board game for 26 years finally breaks loose and the kids who freed him have to stop the animals and other dangers that came out with him. 27 years later the movie is finally getting a sequel in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

The film follows four disparate teenagers who are all sentenced to detention one afternoon. Forced to clean out the high school storage room the discover an old video game system that still works and decide to play “Jumanji” to pass the time. They wind up being sucked into the game, taking on the physical forms of different characters. Now appearing as grown adults (played by Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart and Jack Black), they have to find their way out while also saving Alex, a man who was trapped in the game back in 1996.

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