The Nine Most Compelling Movie Campaigns of 2019’s Second Half

From Once Upon a Time In Hollywood to The Rise of Skywalker and everything in between.

The second half of 2019 ahs seen a number of notable movie releases from some of the biggest names in filmmaking. Downton Abbey was revived for the big screen and new entries in the Zombieland, Rambo and Terminator series hit theaters to varying degrees of success.

Major releases like The Lion King, Frozen 2 and others dominated the mainstream cultural conversation as well as the box office in the last six months thanks to their massive marketing efforts, there are a number of films where the campaigns were even more interesting and noteworthy. Sometimes those campaigns featured a particularly creative execution, sometimes they represented something new being done to reach an interested audience.

So, to follow up on my list of the most compelling movie campaigns from the first half of 2019, here’s the nine that seemed most interesting or innovative to me in the year’s second half.

Hustlers

There have been a number of movies in the last couple years about women determined to exact some pound of flesh from the world that has wronged them. Hustlers is among the most successful of that genre, thanks in part to the lead performance by Jennifer Lopez. What the movie’s marketing campaign did was out Oceans the Oceans movie, especially the recent Ocean’s 8. From the first moment of the campaign, the audience was presented with a neon bright brand that combined women owning their sexuality as exotic dancers with a social message of making the 1% pay for exploiting the poor.

The Hunt

No, the movie has not actually come out. Universal’s curtailed marketing campaign isn’t worth calling out, mostly because it was that campaign that lead to the studio pulling the movie from its release schedule. The planned August release was initially delayed in reaction to the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso following concerns the ads were insensitive to the news at the time. But at about the same time the campaign came to the attention of right wing media, which felt the story of wealthy elites kidnapping poor people for sport was terribly offensive. That conclusion was reached by ignoring the class warfare story and focusing on how the hunted were demographically more likely to be conservative voters than the rich people doing the hunting. To date there have been no updates on the movie’s status.

Ready Or Not

Released at the same time The Hunt was being nixed, Ready Or Not wound up being one of the year’s surprise box office hits. The movie is about a young bride who, on the night she marries into a family that made its fortune making and selling games, finds out that family is going to hunt her. Only if she survives the night will she be deemed worthy of becoming one of them. The marketing sold it as a ridiculously fun horror outing, filled with slapstick humor and more, all while maintaining a brand identity rooted in dark hardwood tones and gothic symbolism.

Joker

Warner Bros. seems to have finally found some kind of groove with its DC-related films following the release of Wonder Woman, Shazam, Aquaman and, most recently, Joker. The movie, one of the most successful of the year so far, was the subject of some of the most intense pre-release debates and conversations in recent memory. That’s largely because of the campaign, with trailers that seemed to present Joker’s backstory as startlingly similar to that of so many of the mass shooters that have plagued society. Before taking on the Joker persona, Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is shown as a marginalized struggling comedian angry at the ways the people in his life have failed him. If the movie weren’t set in the 80s he’s the kind of guy who would frequent men’s rights forums. Post-release, it’s made the Bronx staircase Joker dances down a hot spot for Instagrammers, which itself is a statement about the power of the campaign.

Between Two Ferns

between two ferns posterNetflix has released a number of noteworthy films this year (more on that later), but the revival of Zach Galifinakis’ Funny Or Die celebrity interviews as a feature deserves mention not for the undeniable quality of the movie (though it is very funny) but because of the teaser poster. Designed by marketing agency Works Advertising, there’s so much going on with the one sheet it’s hard to keep track.

  1. All the lines of copy, even those right next to each other, are all at slightly different angles.
  2. The “www” in the URL for Netflix is a style that hasn’t been widely used in 15 years or more.
  3. The typeface for the release date and web address are laughably simple, a default style in Microsoft PowerPoint, and not one meant to convey any sort of impact.
  4. The two ferns are obviously the same fern copied and pasted on each side of Galifinakis’ head.
  5. The photo of Galifinakis still bears the Netflix watermark, like it was pulled from a press site and slapped onto the poster.

Overall it conveys a sense of “sure, fine, whatever,” which is completely on-brand for the Between Two Ferns series. It’s so sloppy and one of the best of the year.

The Lighthouse

How do you sell a black and white movie about two men left alone together on a remote New England lighthouse, isolated from the rest of the world and stuck with their own secrets and baggage? By going completely bonkers. The trailer has singing, dancing, axes, mermaids, terror, and Willem Dafoe repeating “Why don’t you spill your beans?” over and over again. With Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as the leads, it says something when a pelican is the only character that gets its own poster. In a move usually reserved for franchises and sequels, A24 also released an iMessage emoji pack so people could add images of angry lighthouse keepers and various sea creatures to their messages.

Knives Out

I truly believe no one had more fun selling their movie this year than director Rian Johnson. After making The Last Jedi, objectively the best Star Wars movie ever, Johnson assembled an all-star cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig and others for Knives Out, an old-fashioned murder mystery. The story is set on a wealthy family’s estate as investigators try to solve the murder of the patriarch, and the campaign not only played up the cast but also the breezy nature of the film. In interviews for the film, Johnson frequently evoked his love of classic movies based on Agatha Christie and other stories. That love was evident in the “A Rian Johnson whodunit” branding featured throughout the campaign and especially in one of the final videos, where the director personally invites audiences to see the movie, a move reminiscent of similar appeals by Hitchcock and other classic filmmakers.

The Irishman

After snagging new films from directors like Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Soderbergh, Tamara Jenkins and other big names, producing a three hour epic from Martin Scorsese represents Netflix’s biggest conquest to date. To celebrate that milestone the studio/streamer ran a campaign that broke new ground for its original releases, including over a dozen featurettes on every aspect of the film, from the cast to hair and makeup to set design and everything in between. Not only were there teasers but there were trailers timed for the movie’s limited theatrical release and then again for just before it became available for streaming. This is very much the moment Netflix adopted tactics similar to how traditional studios sell movies while still supporting its non-traditional business model.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It would be negligent to omit Disney’s massive, 8-month long campaign for what has been sold at every turn as the final installment in the Skywalker saga that began 42 years ago. The movie has been positioned as the conclusion to the story that began the first moment Qui-Gon Jinn laid eyes on a young Anakin Skywalker. Along the way the studio has had to thread various needles, appealing to older audiences that remember seeing the Tantive IV being chased by a Star Destroyer on the big screen in 1977 and those whose first experience might have been Poe landing on Jakku as the Resistance searched for a missing Luke Skywalker. With seven key promotional partners all producing their own commercials and campaigns along with other companies doing their own thing, there’s been no avoiding the idea that this is the ultimate event film, one audiences would be negligent in missing.

Honorable Mention: Every Ryan Reynolds Movie

He went method for the Pokemon: Detective Pikachu campaign earlier this year and then managed to put an ad for Aviation Gin inside an ad for his new movie 6 Underground that was inside an ad for Samsung. He’s already selling upcoming projects with the same knowing humor, showing he’s one of the strongest marketing brands around.

As Netflix Staggers Movie Releases, It Also Staggers Their Marketing

Over the last few years, Netflix has become a bigger and bigger target for the rest of the entertainment industry. Corporate giants have merged to become even bigger to counter the perceived threat the company poses, film festival organizers have banned its original features from competition and exhibition chains have ostracized those same films from playing at their theaters.

And then of course there’s the fact that nearly every media-specific streaming service that’s launched in the last two years is an attempt to counter Netflix’s massive influence and market share.

That pushback has coincided with the company’s efforts to attract some of the biggest filmmaking talent working today. In just the last two years Netflix has released new films from filmmakers like Joel and Ethan Coen, Duncan Jones, Nicole Holofcener, Alfonso Cuarón and others. Just this year there have been releases from Dan Gilroy, John Lee Hancock, Craig Brewer and more. Steven Soderbergh has had two new films debut on streaming while Noah Baumbach and Michael Bay have movies coming out between now and the end of the year.

The biggest of the big names is Martin Scorsese, whose latest film The Irishman becomes available for streaming this week. The three hour epic tracks the true story of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) over the decades he worked with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and others in the organized labor and criminal worlds, which are sometimes hard to tell apart.

While Netflix subscribers will finally get to watch the movie from the comfort of their own home beginning this Friday, audiences in select theaters across the country have been able to find it for three weeks now. That release came without the support of exhibitors that still object to Netflix’s core business model and so available only at indie theaters or venues it “four walled,” industry parlance for renting out a theater for a showing.

As more and more big name filmmakers have either produced original features for Netflix or had their projects acquired by the company, the instances of theatrical release preceding streaming availability have increased. One or two select releases lasting only a week in theaters has become a half dozen or more titles getting three or four weeks before subscribers can watch them on their phones. This has been part of the pitch to those filmmakers, many of whom still value theatrical exhibition as the primary, if not only, way they’d like their movies shown.

To accommodate that shift the company has also shifted its marketing tactics accordingly, especially in the core elements of a movie marketing campaign.

The Posters

Netflix’s original movies used to get what could generously be called “lackluster” one sheets. The poster for Little Evil starring Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly is a rough photo collage, just like the poster for The Fundamentals of Caring. This lack of effort was understandable to an extent. They were never going to be displayed in theater lobbies but were just quick promotional artwork that was put online, sometimes just days before the movie came out.

Compare those to the posters for The Land of Steady Habits, Private Life or The Laundromat. The first two didn’t get theatrical showings, but working with well-regarded indie filmmakers means putting a little more design work into the marketing graphics. All three, among others, certainly convey a more emotional and/or thematic sense of the story and characters. In fact they’re sometimes better than the artwork for full-fledged theatrical movies from major studios. Not only that, but there’s more information about the cast, writer and director contained on the newer posters.

The Trailers

Similarly, the trailers for Netflix’s original films used to be rushed affairs, with little sense of what the story was about or insights into the arc of the characters. There was often only a single trailer that came out weeks, if not just days, before the film’s release. The trailer for Talullah popped up a month before the movie was available for streaming and the window was even tighter for To The Bone.

Things began loosening up in the last couple years. Many new titles now have trailers that come out two months or more before the movies are released, as in the case of Outlaw King, with the first trailer timed to festival debuts, and Bird Box. Those and other movies have even gotten two trailers instead of the one that was previously standard for Netflix.

The Irishman’s two-stage release exemplifies how the company’s approach to marketing via trailers has changed in recent years.

In advance of the limited theatrical release there was an announcement teaser in February that aired during ABC’s Oscars broadcast, placement surely designed to tweak the nose of the Academy whose rules Netflix is trying to follow to ensure awards consideration. Full trailers came in July and then September leading up to the theatrical release at the beginning of November.

Last week a “final trailer” came out as part of the push to support the streaming release just as the previous trailers were meant to support the theatrical release.

All those trailers end with reminders that the movie was coming to both theaters and streaming. The inclusion of theatrical release information is something that started in earnest in the second half of 2018 with trailers for movies like The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Other more mainstream tactics employed by Netflix for The Irishman include the release of select clips, including one showing Pacino’s Hoffa upset at being shown a lack of respect and, just the other day, a featurette with the cast and crew talking about working with each other and the true story the story is based on. More have come out since, with additional online advertising being done as well to drive awareness and attention.

irishman online ad.png

What’s apparent is that Netflix is beginning to take a more traditional approach to its movie marketing, hitting more of the big beats and using some of the same content types that have been employed by other studios for years now. The adoption of those tactics has coincided with the company’s outreach to major filmmakers for whom theatrical release are the norm, not the exception.

The Irishman – Marketing Recap

Early reactions have hailed it as a masterpiece, the best thing Scorsese has done in years.

the irishman posterWith so much hand-wringing over the years about whether or not Netflix’s original films are serious enough for awards and other serious consideration, this week’s The Irishman will be hard for critics to dismiss or ignore. That’s because it comes from director Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and a host of others.

De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, who after serving in WWII connects with Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), who is able to put Sheeran’s unique skills to use furthering his union-building ambitions. Serving Hoffa for years, Sheeran sees and is involved with a number of illegal, unethical and other activities, all of which he reflects on as an old man following Hoffa’s mysterious disappearance.

The movie, based on the book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” has been in development for over a decade, languishing largely because of the significant budget that was attached. Now Netflix is releasing it as the capstone of its recent efforts to attract the biggest of big name filmmakers. The campaign run by the company has been understandably heavy on the weight of the cast involved, selling a movie that seemed to take forever to finally see the light of day.

The Posters

The first and only poster (by marketing agency Concept Arts) came out in September and shows all three main characters looking very serious. There’s no explanatory copy here to offer insights into the story, the feeling apparently being that the promise of these three actors reuniting with each other and Scorsese being sales pitch enough for the audience to handle.

The Trailers

Netflix finally released the much-anticipated first trailer (5.6 million views on YouTube) in late July. The spot uses the framing device of Frank’s introductory phone call with Hoffa – one facilitated by Bufalino – to show just what kind of work Frank does and how he’s come to Hoffa’s attention. That all builds to a dramatic conclusion as the high stakes of the world Hoffa operates in are shown, but what the trailer is truly intent on showing are the performances of the lead actors.

The second trailer (3.2 million views on YouTube), released in September, starts off by showing how Frank gets into the world of corruption and crime, eventually coming to Hoffa’s attention. Hoffa needs help in his fight against both governmental and business forces, both of whom want to make unions less powerful. That help involves lots of violence, as the rest of the trailer makes clear.

Online and Social

As usual for Netflix’s original features there wasn’t a standalone website, but it was a big enough deal to warrant the company creating a specific Twitter profile. In addition to that it received plenty of promotion on Netflix’s brand profiles.

Advertising and Publicity

The first teaser – the very first bit of marketing done by Netflix for the film – debuted as a TV spot during the February broadcast of the Oscars ceremony and was notable for including a call out to see the movie in theaters later in the year.

Musician Robbie Robertson announced in late July he was creating a new album partially inspired by the upcoming movie, with a duet between Robertson and Van Morrison that shares its name with the memoir the movie is based on.

While it missed other festivals, it was announced in late July that the movie would have its world premiere screening at this year’s New York Film Festival. It’s international premiere was later scheduled for the closing night of the London Film Festival. A “centerpiece” screening at the Rome Film Festival was announced in September. It also screened at The Hamptons Film Festival and will open the Cairo Film Festival in November.

After much back and forth, Netflix was unable to come to an agreement with major chains for the wide theatrical release it and Scorsese wanted, opting instead for a deal with independent theaters that didn’t have a problem with the three week window before it was available for streaming.

Netflix released photos of De Niro as Frank through the years at the same time a new trailer dropped in late September.

The New York Film Festival screening brought with it enormous amounts of positive buzz from critics and others in attendance. Much of that was generated by the press conference following the movie that included comments on the filmmaking process by Scorsese, Pacino, De Niro, Pesci and others.

Earlier this month Netflix announced it would screen the movie for two weeks at The Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles, a location the company has been in discussions to purchase, and for a month at New York City’s Belasco Theater.

A clip released by Netflix last week shows Hoffa and Sheeran meeting a rather rude associate in Florida. The story elements are secondary, though, to just offering a glimpse of Pacino and De Niro.

The New York City premiere of the film featured a red carpet recreating a city sidewalk, complete with parked sedan and a newspaper stand with papers featuring “Where’s Hoffa?” headlines.

Media and Press

While there had been plenty of conversation about the movie and its production, a very big news beat dropped when it was announced Paramount had dropped out and it was picked up by Netflix, which agreed to finance it. Part of that decision may have been a budget that was predicted at the time to be around $125 million – already a massive amount for a crime drama – but which was reported later to be closer to $200 million given all the de-aging special effects work necessary.

De Niro spoke later about how supportive Netflix was during production, saying the company was providing the movie to “do it right.” The company kept people guessing as to what it had in mind regarding a potential theatrical release. During Cannes 2018, STX head David Kosse talked about the deals surrounding the movie and the various compromises and adjustments that needed to be made.

While appearing at the Marrakech Film Festival last year, De Niro mentioned that the movie would receive the same kind of limited theatrical release as other Netflix original films. At the same festival Scorsese talked about how Netflix was taking risks other producers weren’t as well as making comments on other industry issues.

Both Scorsese and De Niro were scheduled for a conversation about their long-lived working relationship during the Tribeca Talks series of conversations, panels and interviews at the Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded by De Niro.

In the wake of Netflix’s unsuccessful bid to secure a Best Picture Oscar win for Roma, reports emerged it would make an even stronger push for this movie, including a rumored longer theatrical run to placate Scorsese as well as other MPAA member companies. That push would not include a screening at Cannes 2019, though, as Netflix confirmed in mid-March it would not have any films at the festival.

De Niro spoke about the movie and how the fact he would be made younger through the magic of digital technology impacted his performance.

Much of the press attention given to the star and director involved asking them to comment on the merits of theatrical versus streaming releases, with the movie only coming up as a secondary subject. Even the film’s producer weighed in, saying the humor is something audiences will want to experience in a crowd as opposed to home on their own. Both Scorsese and De Niro continued talking about the process of working together, working with Netflix and more during the Tribeca Film Festival. As with many filmmakers before him, Scorsese identified the creative freedom offered by Netflix as a reason he decided to take the project there.

There were, of course, stories like this about how the movie offered the latest example of Netflix finding itself at loggerheads with theater chains as the producer sought substantial release for its films while those chains didn’t want to support the streaming competitor. These conversations took on a new weight with Scorsese pushing for as many screens as possible while the chains continued to insist on three month exclusivity before it was available for Netflix customers.

Around the same time a deal was finally reached with indie theaters, news circulated the movie was clocking in around three-and-a-half hours. That raised some people’s eyebrows, but that was mostly among those who wanted to find some problem to latch on to since it’s not that much longer than Avengers: Endgame and certainly more Scorsese is almost never a bad thing.

De Niro appeared on “The Tonight Show” to not only talk about the de-aging process that was part of making the movie and debut the second trailer.

The NYFF premiere included a press conference that generated a good amount of word of mouth and had Scorsese commenting more on the artistic freedom given him by Netflix. Around that same time there were stories about creating a story that shifted between eras and a feature on the reunion of De Niro and Pacino along with how they, with Scorsese, had been long searching for material that would be worthy of their teaming up.

An interview with Scorsese allowed him to talk more about how Netflix came through with the financing when no one else would and lots more. De Niro shared how he spent a lot of time convincing Pesci to come out of retirement, enticing him with the prospect of this being the last time they might have the chance to work together.

A feature profile of both De Niro and Pacino covered the actors’ long personal friendship that has only occasionally resulted in on-screen pairings and how they still feel motivated to best their own previous work even after decades in the industry.

The cast and Scorsese all spoke about working together, how friendly an environment Netflix created and more at the premiere.

Overall

It’s not surprising that Netflix would make a huge deal about being the sole distributor (except for the small theatrical run) for a new movie from Martin Scorsese, not to mention one that features a Murderer’s Row cast like this does. That campaign has sold a movie that seems pulled straight from the mid-90s in tone and subject matter, in the best possible way.

What *is* a bit surprising is that the marketing itself hasn’t overly focused on the same technical aspects of production that have been so heavily covered in the press. It’s been all about the actual story and characters, especially the performances from the leads, instead of overdoing it in showing the digital deaging that has taken place.

The movie currently has a 99 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been almost universally praised by critics. Since the movie isn’t receiving a major theatrical release, it will be hard to gauge how audiences react unless Netflix uses this as one of the infrequent times it reports out vague viewership numbers.

Until then, it’s been a solid campaign that’s received a lot of attention but now has to convince ordinary subscribers to give it a chance.

Picking Up the Spare

More from Robbie Robertson about his music for the movie here.

Scorsese went into some detail about the process of getting the film ready for production in this interview.

More late night talk show appearances from Romano, Sebastian Maniscalco, ‘ and Scorsese himself.

The “final” trailer released by Netflix in advance of its streaming debut includes some of the movie’s positive reviews while telling a more complete story of Sheeran’s arc and the repercussions of his illegal activities.

There have been a metric ton of featurettes released by Netflix following the film hitting theaters and then on streaming.

  • How the impressive cast and crew worked behind the scenes.
  • How the sound designers created the simple audio for the dramatic story.
  • How the costume designers created looks for all the characters that evolved over the decades.
  • How the set designers created settings that were ordinary but impactful.
  • How the movie’s editor paced the story to showcase the performances.
  • How the movie’s director of photography captured those performances.
  • The movie’s screenwriter on crafting a decade-spanning story.

There were also several spotlights on the cast, including Anna Paquin, Pacino, De Niro, Cannavale, Pesci, Stephen Graham, Ray Ramano and Jesse Plemons. The cast also shared their thoughts on Scorsese’s best films while another focused on the director himself.

Scorsese was the feature of another feature profile about his innovative career.

Additional featurettes on the film’s makeup and hair design work, cinematography and how Scorsese navigated the unusual and difficult story.

Writer Steven Zaillian was interviewed about what elements of the real story he cut and what he kept to craft an effective film. Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto admitted there was no way he was saying “no” to Scorsese when the offer came.

More from De Niro on how he introduced Scorsese to the book the movie is based on here. And there’s been additional features on the de-aging technology used on the actors.

The decades long friendship between Pacino and De Niro was covered here.

Netflix released a collection of vintage style posters in mid-January that are incredible.

Netflix Used A TV Spot to Dunk on the Oscars

Right up until the moment Green Book was announced at the end of last night’s Oscar broadcast there was still speculation Roma might edge out a Best Picture win. The Netflix-exclusive film from writer-director Alfonso Cuarón about the Mexico City he grew up in the early 1970s seemed to have some momentum among critics and press, who seemed to have formed the consensus that yes, it was the best movie released in 2018 and deserved to be recognized as such.

Cuarón did win Best Director and Best Cinematography while the movie itself was recognized as Best Foreign Language Film, but losing out on Best Picture felt, at least in part, like a repudiation by the industry of Netflix. The company has grappled with various factions within the film industry who feel their business and prestige are being threatened by its continued streaming-centric release of their original and acquired features. Theater owners in particular have refused to book any Netflix movie, even the handful that have received limited theatrical runs prior to showing up for subscribers.

Those theatrical runs – which are often just a couple weeks long, just enough to qualify for awards consideration – have been used by Netflix to assuage concerns among filmmakers that their work will never be seen on the big screen. That’s helped attract directors like Cuarón, Tamara Jenkins, Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Soderbergh and others, all of whom have helmed original features in the last year.

Sunday night Netflix used a paid TV commercial during a broadcast when it was losing some major awards to middle-of-the-road biopics to promote perhaps its biggest directorial “get” to date when it ran the first teaser for The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci.

The movie has been in production for quite a while and beyond “This fall” a release date remains vague. At the beginning of the year many critics included it on their list of “most anticipated movies of 2019” seemingly because surely it *had* to come out this year, right? Last night’s teaser was the first bit of official marketing for the movie and while it has less than 1 percent of the views on YouTube as Disney’s commercial for The Lion King (which is just a new version of the teaser released months ago) its surprise inclusion caught the attention of many industry reporters and watchers.

At the point in the broadcast when The Irishman teaser aired, Roma’s ultimate fate remained unknown. Still, it felt like Netflix using advertising for what it’s meant for: Becoming part of a conversation you’re not organically part of.

As pointed out earlier, ratings for the Oscar broadcast were up year-over-year for the first time in five years, driven largely by nominations for crowd-pleasing and popular movies like Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody as well as anticipation over a performance of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and curiosity over whether the host-less show would be a trainwreck.

While just about anything would be an improvement over last year’s terrible ratings, the fact that the audience was greater than before means a good number of people now know there’s a new Scorsese movie coming out later this year. The teaser didn’t feature any footage, just some animation of a bullet over snippets of dialogue, but it included the names of those involved in front of and behind the camera. All that is meant to draw in new subscribers, get the attention of cinephiles who don’t want to miss such a high-profile “prestige” release and continue positioning Netflix as working with the best in show business.

Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan have been vocal with their opinions that titles premiering (more or less) on Netflix are on the level of TV movies and not of the same quality as those shown in theaters. But theatrical exhibition only has the reputation of being more “selective” because of the costs associated with distribution and the limited number of screens available. Streaming does away with those constraints, and it’s that removal of at least some hurdles – many of which form the linchpins of the business models for some companies – that has entrenched powers put out.

So, concerned a trade group that continues to emphasize theatrical exhibition as one of the major criteria for any film chasing Oscar gold to meet would shun it, Netflix opened up the checkbook and co opted The Academy’s platform to promote its upcoming content. That’s savvy advertising that, when complemented by owned posts on Facebook (584,000 views) and Twitter (990,000 views) shows the company is eager for everyone to know it will be the best place to watch the latest movie from one of the all-time great directors.