Proxima – Marketing Recap

How Vertical Entertainment is selling a relationship drama centered on space flight.

There have been a handful of movies and series recently focused on the personal toll felt by astronauts embarking on long-term missions to space. Between Ad Astra, “Away” and others, we have certainly gotten the message that such missions are emotionally devastating in many ways.

Adding to that sub-genre is this week’s Proxima. Eva Green stars as Sarah Loreau, the only woman slated for an upcoming year-long mission to the International Space Station. While training for that mission, Sarah’s relationship with her young daughter becomes increasingly strained as they get closer to the extended time they’ll be apart.

Vertical Entertainment has mounted a small but solid campaign over the last month for the movie, which has an impressive 82% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Posters

The one poster, released in mid-October, does a great job of summing up the main ideas of the film in a single image. Sarah, already decked out in her mission gear, and her daughter are shown looking lovingly at each other with a massive rocket on the launchpad behind them. It communicates both the setting and what the drama contained in the story will be and works pretty well.

The Trailers

Vertical released the first trailer (3,700 views on YouTube) shortly after it picked up the project in early October. The team is preparing for their mission to the ISS, the last one before an eventual trip to Mars, but Sarah seems to be having some last-minute issues. That’s especially evident in her relationship with her daughter, who is acting out just before her mother leaves. That dynamic is what will drive most of the story’s movement, making it less about space travel and more about love and isolation.

Online and Social

Unless I’ve missed it, there’s no real online presence for the film from Vertical.

Advertising and Promotions

The movie debuted at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize at that year’s San Sebastian Film Festival. But it was almost a year before Vertical Entertainment acquired the film, setting a November PVOD release.

MovieClips got an exclusive clip of Sarah doing some pre-mission shopping.

Media and Press

Green and others did some press interviews during TIFF and San Sebastian in 2019, but there doesn’t seem to have been anything more recent, timed to coincide with the film actually being released.

Overall

While it’s not uncommon for VOD – premium or otherwise – releases to get campaigns that are smaller than their theatrical brethren, this seems unnecessarily minimalist given the overall positive reviews the movie has received. Green is a well-known and well-liked actor and not putting her out there for the press in the last month is a surprising move given she could have provided a bit of momentum for the film leading into it becoming available.

What campaign is there is good, though, selling a movie that offers a complicated but not overwrought drama showing how deep a mother/daughter bond can be as well as what kinds of trials it is sometimes tested by. It’s also nice to see Green in a role that isn’t overtly sexual, showing how wide her actual range is.

Dumbo – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Dumbo at The Hollywood Reporter.

Online and Social

The official Disney site for the movie is unusually boring, offering nothing in the way of engaging content, just static information on the characters along with posters, trailers and photos. This feels like a massive missed opportunity.

Media and Publicity

A closer look at Farrell’s character was released around the same time as the first trailer.

At the same time there was a profile of young star Nico Parker, who talked about her experiences on set and more. Another one followed closer to release while she also showed up on “The Late Show”

DeVito appeared on late night TV to talk about his experiences on-set and was later the subject of his own profile.

First reactions started appearing in mid-March, with many calling it Burton’s most engaging and emotional film in years, as well as his most visually strong and creative. At about that time Green was interviewed about her frequent collaborations with Burton and how she almost passed on getting involved with the project. Working with Burton was also the subject of a feature profile that had most of the primary cast talking about his vision and style.

How the movie differed from the original was the subject of a number of interviews and features like this. Burton spoke about his current role as Disney’s go to director for off-kilter reimaginings while composer Danny Elfman was interviewed about his score and working with Burton again while Farell made an appearance on “Kimmel.”

There were a few clips and featurettes released right at the end of the campaign.

Overall

dumbo gif

Picking Up the Spare

DeVito was interviewed again about how he thinks the story of Dumbo continues to be relevant even decades later.

More clips that expanded on scenes from the trailers were released after the movie was in theaters.