Publicity Alone No Longer Sells Movie Tickets

Today, you can have the greatest articles and reviews in the world, but they’re all completely worthless if people aren’t sharing them in social media.

For independents with limited budgets, common wisdom has been that a significant portion of the P&A budget should be spent on hiring a powerhouse PR firm. In the past, if the PR hits started rolling in — and they were good — you could feel pretty confident that it would result a strong opening weekend in the box office.

But this is no longer the case.

Indie distributors who are still relying on traditional publicity, fathering than focusing their efforts on strategies that create true community around the film, are now finding themselves unprepared to “pivot” when the box office numbers are soft.

The reality is that most PR agencies don’t care about the grosses. They care about the volume of press hits they can generate for the client.

PR campaigns that continue to rely on traditional media outlets may indeed generate awareness. But they longer drive people into theaters.
Today, it’s the special interest blogs, Instagram feeds, and Pinterest boards that create word-of-mouth for independent films. Not the mainstream media. Its sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and others.

To have an impact on sales, PR agencies need to diversity and move far beyond the “entertainment pages” and begin to truly embrace all forms of emerging and specialty media.

[Source: Marc Schiller]


Room 666: 44min Compendium of Cinematic Knowledge

If you could get a large group of some of cinema’s greatest directors in one room, what would you ask them? Well, director Wim Wenders got that opportunity while at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, and subsequently made a documentary about it. 16 iconic directors, including Jean-Luc GodardSteven Spielberg,Werner Herzog, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, were asked a series of questions about the future of the film industry, as well as the art form itself, and their answers became an incredible 44-minute video compendium of cinematic knowledge. Continue reading Room 666: 44min Compendium of Cinematic Knowledge

INDIEWIRE ANALYSIS: Why This Was the Best Cannes Film Festival in Years

No Hollywood studio marketing campaign can rival the hysteria created by a single big screening at the Cannes Film Festival. The newest edition demonstrated that day three, when thousands of eager cinephiles and industry acolytes mobbed the entrance of the Lumière Theater, eager to nab a seat for a slow-moving,  Turkish drama that ran over three hours.

Continue reading INDIEWIRE ANALYSIS: Why This Was the Best Cannes Film Festival in Years