• Laura Bennett

If An Oscar-Worthy Film Showed to Empty Theaters … Would It Win An Award?

Why doesn’t the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have an Academy Award for film marketing? The amount of expertise, and money, that goes into a film extends right to the hearts and minds of the ticket buying public. So what does it take for a film to fill seats or be awash in Netflix orders for their production?

Budgets for marketing vary but an industry average is that it costs half as much to promote a film as to produce one. So if a film cost $100 million to make, the budget will have an additional $50 million for marketing. Data shows that the average film makes as much as 50% of its money in the very first week. Not much room for error here!

After a great story, production and believable actors, here is what it takes:

A marketing plan that is heavy on the front end but has phases that take the message worldwide

– Media materials, stories and sound bites that are specifically crafted for outlets from Good Morning America, to Twitter’s 140 characters. Longer video for YouTube, snippets for Facebook and translation into dozens of foreign languages.

– A national tour with the actors – including TV, radio, top bloggers, newspapers and magazines – big and small (The travel coordination of this alone is monumental)

– Publicists who promote their clients, stylist who promote the clothes of the actors, product makers who are tied to the actors… this is a long list of people who are part of the movie launch process

– Manufacturing partners who develop promotional items, like toys or hats or other products that theme to the movie

– Retailers who launch the products and do their own promotional campaigns

– Theater owners who promote and publicize the upcoming movie, events are possible here too

– An army of photographers, videographers, writers and social media experts who support the launch and keep the drum beat going across all media platforms.

– The premiere

– The opening week’s publicity

– And the advertising that supports every single element above. From billboards to custom websites, this is a long and detailed list of purchased promotions that also roll out in phases and geographical locations

Oscar envelopes

May I please have the envelope with the winner of the Marketing Oscar?


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