I Think We’re Alone Now – Marketing Recap

Here’s how Momemtum Pictures sold the end of the world drama I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW with Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning.

i think were alone now posterIt’s the end of the world in I Think We’re Alone Now and Del (Peter Dinklage) is feeling fine. Well…maybe not fine, but he’s certainly made his peace with his status as seemingly the only survivor of a mysterious apocalypse that has wiped out almost all the world’s population. He is living alone and filling his days with cleaning up the town and whatever diversions he can manage.

His solitude is interrupted by the appearance of Grace (Elle Fanning), a fellow survivor who has mysteriously arrived in his town and would like his attention. Del is unwilling to accept this, though, and pushes her away.

The Posters

A lot’s happening on the first poster, which takes an artistic approach showing Del and Grace at the top of the image, him looking slightly annoyed while she’s screaming into the sky. Goldfish float around them while at the bottom we see cars left abandoned on the highway, the road flanked by fields that are covered in fresh graves. “In the end…chaos will find you” the copy reads, filled with meaning about the story.

The Trailers

There’s not much happening in the first trailer, nor is there much of the story that’s explained. We hear some of the dialogue between Del and Grace, but all we see is him walking down an empty street toward a crashed car with its alarm going off. A second teaser hits some of the same beats, but has Del stating more explicitly that he just wants to be left alone amidst all this chaos.

The first full trailer, released in late August, offers a bit more of the story. It starts by presenting a nearly empty town that Del is systematically cleaning of bodies and other refuse. When he meets Grace he’s suspicious of where she came from and how she survived and indeed there does seem to be some kind of mystery to her background, though it’s not explained here. It ends with Del going off by himself, an off-screen voice assuring him it’s alright and that it’s time to come home now.

Online and Social

There doesn’t appear to have been an official website created by Momentum, but there were Instagram, Facebook and Twitter profiles created to give the movie some online presence.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

I haven’t seen or heard about any paid promotions for the movie.

Media and Publicity

The premise of the story and a popular cast helped the movie make the “most-anticipated” lists of films screening at the Sundance Film Festival. While there Dinklage, Fanning and the rest of the cast and crew talked about what it was that attracted them to the story, it’s themes of solitude and companionship and more. Momentum Pictures picked it up a few weeks after the festival ended.

Fanning made an appearance on “Late Night” to talk about the movie. Morano was profiled in a piece that allowed her to talk about not only the story and characters but her unique position as both director and cinematographer.

Overall

It’s really the festival buzz that makes an impression in the campaign. There’s some good stuff in the trailers and teasers and the poster certainly makes an impression, but it’s such a high concept story that the word of mouth element, where the concept can be explained a bit more thoroughly, that makes the strongest case.

That high concept will likely turn off some people along with the fact that it isn’t scheduled for wide release any time soon. What strikes me most, though, is that this is the kind of movie that Netflix has turned into a cottage industry, so it would seem to make more sense there, where it can be explored at people’s leisure.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

Peter Dinklage shares how he got involved with the movie and what he finds most interesting about how it was produced.
Editor Madeleine Gavin speaks here about how she worked to keep creating tension in the story. And director Reed Moreno offers additional thoughts on the movie, its themes ands what it means for her career so far.

Half Magic – Marketing Recap

half magic posterHeather Graham makes her feature directorial debut with this week’s Half Magic, which she also wrote and is starring in. Graham plays Honey, a frustrated mid-level executive at an entertainment company who has aspirations of writing her own story one day. Those dreams are thwarted by her boss (Chris D’Elia), who she’s also sleeping with. One day she attends a workshop to give women their power back and meets Candy (Stephanie Beatriz) and another woman (Angela Kinsey, whose character isn’t named anywhere I can find).

The three of them realize they’ve been wasting their time on useless men for too long and so decide to change their situations, offering each other support along the way. For all of them that means giving up some toxic relationships and approaching conflict with a new mindset, one that tells them they’re worth more than they’ve accepted before and are capable of anything.

Continue reading “Half Magic – Marketing Recap”

Goon: Last of the Enforcers – Marketing Recap

Doug “The Thug” Glatt (Seann William Scott) has gotten out of the hockey world in Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers. He’s retired and married to Eva (Allison Pill) with a baby on the way. He’s lured back to the game when the pro hockey league is locked out and the Halifax Highlanders need him most. In Doug’s absence, his nemesis Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell) is made captain, much to the team’s chagrin.

Defying his wife’s wishes, Doug seeks to get back into things but finds the injuries sustained in a lifetime of fighting have taken their toll. So to try and get his edge back he seeks out his one-time rival Ross Rhea (Liv Schreiber) to train him and regain his fighting edge.

The Posters

A teaser poster just shows Scott as Doug carrying his stick and skates, the prone body of his opponent lying on the ice behind him. “Twice as hard as the first time.’ we’re promised here.

The first poster shows the return of Scott and Schreiber as the two stand alongside Pill. The hockey sticks and gloves make it clear that we’re still in hockey territory here, as does the copy that tells us “Hockey is hard. Family is harder.”

Another poster shows Doug punching the screen of the camera, with the glass cracking around the title treatment. “Punch retirement in the face” is the copy, explaining to the audience that he’s not going gently into that good night.

The Trailers

The first, short red-band trailer is primarily focused on making sure we know Doug Glatt is back. He’s pretty mellow now, but the audience still just wants those big hits. So we see a lot of not just hockey violence but people reacting to that violence and players questioning what the point of it all is. There are also lots of juvenile pranks going on, adding to the humor.

It’s pretty funny but there’s not much story on display here. That’s alright, though, since the overall tone of the movie comes through. There’s plenty of shots of the supporting cast and even Scott doesn’t get a ton of screen time. It’s primarily about selling the over-the-top hijinks of the story.

Doug is knocked out when the official trailer opens and we find out he’s fallen on hard times, not able to play hockey and working at a desk job. So he seeks out Ross Rhea to train him to fight more effectively as a way to get back into the game. As that’s going on we see him with his very pregnant wife as the two of them are expecting a baby.

It’s an alright trailer that I’m sure will resonate well with fans of the first movie. It’s funny and Scott is always pretty good, as is Schreiber. There’s nothing special here, it does what it needs to do and not much else.

Another red-band trailer followed that offered more of the story as well as just a lot of swearing, all wrapped in the music of an inspirational sports story. A second official all-ages trailer hit many of the same notes, showing Doug’s fall from glory and his attempts to regain his throne. There’s also a short clip of T.J. Miller as a sports news anchor at the end that appears out of nowhere and seems just to be included to take advantage of Miller’s higher profile at the moment.

Online and Social

The official website for the movie is primarily focused on converting visitors to buyers since the movie is available now as a digital download and soon on Blu-ray. There are links to the movie’s Facebook page as well as Twitter and Instagram profiles for Momentum Pictures in the upper right. There was also a Twitter account for the movie but it’s not linked on the site.

The middle of the page has one of the trailers along with a brief “Synopsis,” a “Cast & Crew” section and a list of theaters the film is playing, but that’s about it.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve seen here.

Media and Publicity

An interview with Baruchel talked about his transition from writer and actor to director, including what lessons he took from his experience working with some of the biggest, most well-known directors around. He also, of course, talked about what drove him to revisit the story of Doug Glatt and put him in such an uncertain and existential situation.

An interview with Scott allowed him to talk about returning to the character after a few years, how he doesn’t get too bent out of shape over playing slightly stupid characters and what fans can expect from this sequel.

Baruchel continued talking about stepping behind the camera and why he felt this was the right time to do so. He also wrote an op-ed about his career to date and a lifelong history of writing.

There was also this story, which offered a perspective on why the Goon movies are so perfectly and uniquely Canadian, from the sport portrayed in the way the characters approach their teammates to the perspective of the fans.

Overall

Just as much as some other examples, this sequel is going to have a very narrow target audience, specifically those who not only enjoyed the first one but who want to see more of Doug Glatt and the characters in his world. That’s what’s sold here, more of the same only different. It’s just as darkly violent and satirical and Canadian as the first movie, just in different ways and this time with Baruchel helming it.

Weirdly the story arc, at least as it’s presented in the campaign, reminds me of what was sold in the push for Cars 3, that of a star athlete who’s contemplating the end of the road and a life lived more quietly. Scott looks like he gives it his all and there are certainly a few laughs throughout. So those were were entertained the first time around will likely be so here as well, though there’s little here for anyone not in that group to latch onto.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Fun Mom Dinner – Marketing Recap

Fun Mom Dinner, opening this weekend, offers audiences at least the third opportunity just this summer to come and see what happens when a bunch of otherwise responsible ladies cut a bit loose. This time it’s not about a bachelorette weekend or a raucous weekend in New Orleans, it’s just about a group of moms getting together for what should be a nice dinner.

The moms in question are Kate (Toni Collette), Jamie (Molly Shannon), Emily (Katie Aselton) and Melanie (Bridget Everett). The four are connected by a class all their toddlers are in, but not everyone gets along with each other. That means the evening starts off rough but as the alcohol (and more) flows things loosen up and the ladies begin seeing what they have in common. Meanwhile, the clueless husbands are left to their own devices, which isn’t great and which shows how much they depend on the women in their lives.

The Posters

Looks like there was just one poster for the movie, but it pretty clearly explains the premise to the audience. All four ladies are shown and it’s apparent we’re catching them well into the evening here. Not only are they all smiling, but Melanie is carrying Emily on her back and wearing a blue unicorn onesie. So…yeah. While Jamie still looks pretty put-together (still carrying a box of crackers), Kate is a bit the worse for wear, her outfit smudged and dirty. They all look like they’re having a good time, an impression reinforced by the copy declaring “Every mom needs a time out.” The movie’s comedic credentials are explained not only by that photo but by the cast list at the top, which includes the four leads along with names like Adam Scott, Rob Huebel and others people will recognize.

The Trailers

We’re immediately introduced to the frustrating, poop-filled lives of the moms we’re following in the first trailer. They’re just trying to get out for a fun dinner by themselves. Soon the drinking begins and that leads to other drug use and they’re off to the races, engaging in all kinds of hijinks and shenanigans while the dads and kids are left to their own devices.

This is largely the same territory mined by last year’s Bad Moms as well as Rough Night and other movies, showing the people who are supposed to be responsible for everyone going a bit off the reservation. The cast is likable enough and there are a few laughs here, but it can’t help but seem overly familiar.

Online and Social

There wasn’t much of an official web presence for the movie, it seems. There were only two things I could find: A page on the Momentum Pictures website that has a synopsis, the poster, the trailer and a list of theaters it’s opening soon at and a Facebook page.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve seen or am aware of. I’d wager there’s been some online advertising done, particularly since it’s available via VOD as well as in select theaters, and those ads may be driving to one or another download service.

Media and Publicity

The first bit of publicity came when it was announced the movie would have its official premiere at Sundance 2017. It was quickly picked up, before it even screened even, by Momentum Pictures and Netflix.

The cast all did the talk show rounds in the weeks leading up to release. All four ladies made various appearance, either on their own or in some combination, on late night and daytime shows to talk about making the movie, working with the other actresses and more.

Overall

I’m going to try really hard not to sound sexist here. It’s hard to see this campaign being a huge success in getting people’s attention and interest not just because of its relatively small scale but because it’s selling territory that’s been well-trod in the last three months. That’s not to say that we can’t handle more than one story that’s focused on the outrageous antics a group of ladies get up to because they’re women. If this was the third movie in a short period of time where guys were acting out and cutting loose it would seem just as tired.

That being said, the biggest asset the marketing has is the charm and talent of the four leads. Collette is always very good (love her in The Way Way Back) and Shannon is riding a wave of resurgence thanks to last year’s Other People. Aselton has some name recognition thanks to “The League” and more and Everett, who I’m not as familiar with, has some solid comedy credentials including Trainwreck, “Difficult People” and more. It’s not clear if that will be enough to activate the audience to check it out, but it’s the strongest hand the campaign has to play.

One surprising thing is that there isn’t a stronger call to action to find the movie on VOD, which seems like the primary release platform. That’s not mentioned in the trailer, nor are there links to make the purchase on any of the web profiles. Seems leaving immediate conversions out of the content mix is a missed opportunity.