Power Marketing 2022: Driving It Home

With nearly 80% of consumer spending on home entertainment now going toward multiple SVOD subscriptions, studio marketers are working harder than ever to drive transactional sales of movies and shows, both physical and digital.

Their overarching goal is to remind consumers that it is still possible to buy (and rent) movies and shows individually, and not just as part of an all-you-can-watch monthly subscription plan. They also need to clearly demonstrate the benefits of ownership, including better quality, a much-wider selection of product, and the reassurance that once you buy something, it’s yours and unlikely to disappear one day, as so many of our favorite movies and shows have vanished without a trace from Netflix.

For the fourth year, Media Play News is honoring the top studio marketing campaigns of the past year (April 2021 through March 2022), and the teams that made them happen.

Thomas K. Arnold: Craig and the Camel May Be Gone, But Transactional Marketing Still Going Strong

The Power Campaigns

■ F9: The Fast Saga
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
UPHE released the $726 million global theatrical blockbuster F9 in home with a premium rental offering just five weeks after the film’s chart-topping run at the box office. Supported widely by digital retail partners and broad national advertising, the PVOD marketing campaign drove home messaging to consumers that the event film was coming straight from theaters into their homes for the first time ever.

As the title transitioned into the traditional home entertainment window, the campaign trained its focus on effectively differentiating from the PVOD release. Delivering a standout collectible offering, UPHE leaned heavily into the value of ownership with an all-new, highly anticipated director’s cut.
Leveraging the film’s massive star power and worldwide franchise appeal, UPHE focused on communicating the exceptional value proposition for this offering by fashioning a full-scale breakthrough marketing campaign designed to further entice and engage fans with two versions of the film and exclusive bonus content with even more spectacular action.

Elevated to the “must-own event of the year,” the campaign advanced with a far-reaching social announce push, supported in part by the film’s own megastars, Vin Diesel and Chris (Ludacris) Bridges, who shared custom content on their Instagram accounts, reaching a combined total of more than 92 million followers.

Publicity efforts were also expansive, anchored by F9 Fest, an immersive, multi-layered experience for domestic, international and multi-cultural press, influencers and fans. Marking a highly awaited return to in-person events since the start of the pandemic, the Fest drew attendees inside the world of F9 with such activities as a press interviews with director Justin Lin, cast members including Jordana Brewster, stunt coordinators, VFX leads and the costume designer; a rooftop zipline stunt experience inspired by the film; an F9 Museum featuring vehicles, costumes and props; an exclusive screening of F9: The Director’s Cut; multiple custom photo ops; and more.

These efforts were bolstered by impactful organic social media, which captured nearly 40 pieces of original content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, as well as a targeted influencer program and specially hosted trivia nights on UPHE’s own All Access Rewards loyalty channel that were livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube across three separate nights. Cumulative reach across these efforts topped 30 million impressions.

Finally, the campaign was complemented by huge media support across network, cable and digital, resulting in a combined 770 million impressions, and was rounded out by top placements across both digital and physical retail.

■ Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Released in theaters right before Thanksgiving, the home entertainment release in January/February capitalized on the height of awareness and allowed families, who were still leery of going to the theater, to enjoy the film sooner at home.

The global marketing team positioned the ‘PG-13’-rated Ghostbusters: Afterlife as both the follow-up to the franchise that fans had been waiting for and a fun family movie. The team focused on a broad, dual-pronged campaign with focused hits.

Media support included high-profile sports and prime hits. The social media team leaned into both fan content — highlighting Easter eggs and Ghostbusters gadgets — and content targeted toward families, including a “movie night” influencer campaign.

Press opportunities were robust, as many members of the cast did broadcast and radio interviews in support of the home entertainment release. And two Twitter watch parties — planned to the digital release and the physical release, with parent bloggers and an editorial outlet — allowed fans and families alike to join in and watch the movie together.

The immediacy of the home entertainment release, along with this strong, dual-pronged campaign approach, allowed for a very successful result.

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■ The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection
Lionsgate

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the blockbuster first film in the “Hunger Games” franchise, Lionsgate released a commemorative 4K + BD + Digital Steelbook featuring all four movies in collectible packaging, marketed as The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection.

Best Buy’s ‘The Hunger Games’ 4K Steelbook Collection

The Lionsgate creative team worked with 10 female artists across the globe to create stunning illustrations of Katniss Everdeen and hand-drawn illustrations of iconic quotes from the franchise. The Steelbook collection announcement received positive feedback on social media and in the press.
Lionsgate followed the announcement with a 10-day organic social campaign highlighting the Steelbook artwork. Lionsgate utilized Instagram’s “Collab” feature to amplify reach and total engagement by cross-posting on the Lionsgate Brand accounts and the “Hunger Games” accounts.

Additionally, in celebration of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate’s production team created and released a 20-minute documentary, titled Women on Fire — The Artists of The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection about the creation of the collection and the incredible female artists behind it: Flore Maquin, Ise Ananphada, Alice X. Zhang, Tula Lotay, Paige Reynolds, Aracely Muñoz, Gemma O’Brien, Lauren Hom, Meni Chatzipanagiotou and Gia Graham.

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■ The Godfather: 50th Anniversary
Paramount Home Entertainment

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning masterpiece The Godfather, Paramount and Coppola’s production company undertook a painstaking restoration of all three films in preparation for a limited theatrical run and a first-ever 4K Ultra HD release.

Paramount Home Entertainment launched a year-long campaign to celebrate the landmark anniversary and engage longtime fans while also reaching new generations through unique creative executions, strategic partnerships, multiple publicity events, targeted media and social activations.

The campaign kicked off with a new trailer launch followed by a gala street-naming ceremony on the Paramount lot for Francis Ford Coppola. The event included a red-carpet premiere with members of the cast in advance of the global theatrical re-release in the United States and 18 additional territories.

To generate additional publicity timed to the 4K Ultra HD release, Coppola was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a screening was held at the new Academy Museum. To entice fans, the product offering included a Limited Collector’s Edition with a hardcover coffee table book, portrait art prints, and extensive new and legacy bonus content.

Efforts culminated on the Sunday following street date in a special celebratory moment during the Academy Awards, which featured an introduction by Sean “Diddy” Combs and appearances by Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. In addition to massive publicity around each event, extensive coverage was secured worldwide in hundreds of top outlets through cast interviews, exclusive clip debuts, rare behind-the-scenes photos and more, ultimately generating more than half-a-billion impressions.

(L-R): Francis Ford Coppola, James Caan and Talia Shire discuss ‘The Godfather’ at a 50th anniversary screening at Paramount Studios Feb. 22, 2022.

Media support across broadcast, digital and print included a stand-out billboard in New York’s Times Square and spots promoting the home entertainment release appeared during Paramount Network’s airing of The Godfather Trilogy. Social media amplified all event coverage and created custom content across title and studio channels throughout the campaign to reach a wide array of audiences.

The studio will continue to celebrate the legacy of The Godfather with a dedicated podcast in the summer and a special exhibit at the Academy Museum in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the global marketing efforts have resulted in a campaign befitting one of the greatest films in cinematic history.

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■ Spider-Man: No Way Home
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As the entire world enthusiastically embraced the movie in theaters with more than $1.8 billion in box office revenue, the home entertainment campaign started out with a huge bang.

The marketing team launched a global announce on Feb. 23, aligning in key markets all over the world, with a re-creation of the famous “Pointing Spider-Men” meme, featuring Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Launched on social media platforms across Sony, Spider-Man, Marvel and Tom Holland’s profiles, the meme set the internet on fire, climbing up to be the No. 6 top-performing Instagram post of all time and getting unprecedented press pickup with more than 2.2 billion impressions.

As part of the announce, a sizzle reel highlighting more than 80 minutes of bonus features — including a gag reel, Easter eggs and more of the three Spideys — was released to press and social media channels, amassing more than 4 million views in just one day.

Following the announce, retailers kicked off a “countdown” campaign sale, featuring the entire franchise of “Spider-Man” movies, supported by custom merchandising, CRM, and social developed by the marketing team.

Going into the digital release, key to the marketing campaign was fresh and bespoke content. From a publicity perspective, clips from the bonus materials were strategically released. Two custom assets led by the content and digital marketing teams, “Making of the Meme” and “The Amazing Peter #3,” an insights-based answer to social chatter, generated over 4 million and 8 million views, respectively.

Behind the scenes of Spider-Man: No Way Home (photo courtesy of Sony Pictures)

The media team assembled a massive campaign, activating support across premiere placements in sports, prime, network, cable, CTV and digital programming. They struck up partnerships with sports influencers George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Kittle created a custom post for his 1.3 million followers on Instagram and Twitter, generating 307,000 IG infeed views and 44,000 Twitter views in one day. Morant filmed a custom 30-second promo, queuing significant social engagement and speculation from fans and generating more than 4 million views in one week.

Custom merchandising takeovers developed by the marketing team, along with prime placements, left no one unaware that the movie was available to own.

To sustain the marketing momentum in the digital release window, the global marketing team launched a watch party, with an introduction by Tom Holland and promoted by influencers receiving “movie night” kits, as well as social support from Marvel and promotional partners.

Prize packs were also given to a limited number of lucky participants.
With a focus on fresh and bespoke, insights-based content, this campaign generated record-shattering results.

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■ Smallville: The Complete Series
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The 20th anniversary of the premiere of “Smallville” on CW was Oct. 16, 2021. To celebrate this milestone, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released Smallville: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc for the very first time just three days later, on Oct. 19. New packaging with 20th anniversary key art was designed for this boxed set, which includes 40 Blu-ray Discs containing all 218 episodes plus two additional DVDs featuring more than 28 hours of previously released bonus content.

The anniversary date fell on the same day as DC FanDome 2021.To capitalize on this fortuitous timing, a “surprise and delight” campaign was developed, timed to a cast reunion during the big DC virtual event. A new trailer kicked off the reunion, and moderator Tiffany Smith interviewed Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum while messages from series actors, including Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, Justin Hartley, James Marsters and many others, were played throughout the nine-minute segment. A longer 20-minute extended reunion video was released on the WBHE YouTube page at the conclusion of the DC FanDome segment, racking up more than 715,000 views. A media blast about the extended cut was sent to the press and talent touted it on their socials.

Welling, Rosenbaum and Kreuk also participated in interviews with top-tier and genre outlets including Yahoo!, EW.com, ET Online, TV Line, TV Insider, IGN, Collider and many more. Interviews were embargoed until after DC FanDome and generated more than 42 million impressions.

A two-week paid media flight began immediately following DC FanDome. Ads were posted on the WBHE Facebook and Instagram pages. At retail, the title was prioritized within the Amazon Always on non-branded ads surrounding the Blu-ray Disc release.

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■ Jungle Cruise
Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Just one month after Jungle Cruise arrived in theaters — and simultaneously on Disney+ with Premier Access — the In-Home team made the case for ownership, and helped ensure a successful in-home release across multiple windows.

They began a campaign aimed at families with kids 14 and under, as well as multicultural opportunities with the Black and African-American, AAPI and LGBTQ+ audiences. Marketing strategies included leaning into the Disney brand and paying homage to the theme park ride that inspired the movie in order to engage with families and Disneyphiles.

With the main cast all having made multiple press appearance recently, the In-Home team, while still embracing the playful banter between stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, pivoted to other creative opportunities. One emphasized the thrilling elements that brought the film to life, including the animals in the Amazon Rainforest. Another differentiation of the in-home push was collectability messaging. Bonus clips and previously unseen footage of the cast were utilized for a series of press exclusives that stressed the must-own nature of the release. As a result, the title attained digital and physical sales well above target.

Campaign highlights included partnering with DisneyBounders — the fashion-forward way for fans to show their love for Disney. Instead of wearing full-on costumes as cosplayers do, DisneyBounders dress up in stylish, everyday outfits (known as DisneyBounds) that are inspired by a particular character. A special Jungle Cruise-themed content day was created at Disney World that provided the perfect platform for key influencers to generate content that created millions of impressions.

‘Jungle Cruise’-themed DisneyBounders at Disney World

A partnership with Trader Joe’s List, the popular social channel that is known for its Trader Joe’s shopping lists, reviews and recipes, also paid dividends. Trader Joe’s List went live on street date for a Jungle Cruise-themed haul at the store, and then created content inspired by the film, including multiple story slides, one giveaway post, and a video post on Instagram and YouTube, reaching the channel’s 1.7 million followers numerous times.

Finally, the October release date offered a few more opportunities. Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary that month and gift bags were created for the events, which included a digital code for Jungle Cruise. And, in celebration of Halloween, the In-Home team partnered with popular dog influencers and influencers with dogs to share Jungle Cruise-themed content tied to the holiday. To get the influencers in the spooky spirit, they were each sent a themed package, including a dog costume inspired by an animal found in the Amazon, a pumpkin hide-and-seek plush and Amazon-themed animal toys, along with boo-bites snacks and hats for the “paw-rents” to dress up, too. Each influencer also received a Jungle Cruise Boo-ray. The result was an additional 2.6 million estimated impressions.

These varied and inventive approaches not only saw overall sales targets exceeded, but also illustrated that a successful in-home release was possible across multiple windows even with a compressed timeline.

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■ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 20th Anniversary
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

November 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of the beloved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film in the tremendously successful film franchise featuring eight Harry Potter films.

The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment marketing team — as managers of the Wizarding World franchise for home entertainment and custodians of its ongoing film lifecycle — worked hand-in-hand with WB’s cross-functional teams to initiate a strategy to celebrate this momentous occasion, secured buy-in from key stakeholders, and supported a year-long, global, enterprise-wide effort.

WBHE commissioned and released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Magical Movie Mode on digital and physical — a whole new way to experience the film with pop-up commentary from director Chris Columbus, trivia, fun facts, deleted scenes and much more.

WBHE also developed a full suite of creative assets that was shared across all teams, divisions and partners globally via turnkey toolkits that maintained a consistent look and feel. These assets included hero artwork that re-imagined the original theatrical one-sheet, an accompanying line look across all Wizarding World films including Fantastic Beasts, refreshed trailers and spots, a full year of social media assets, and a printable activity packet to accompany movie viewings across various platforms, whether fans chose to watch their own copies at home, stream on HBO Max, or tune into airings on TV.

The culmination of the campaign found WBHE hosting a global press and content day with franchise founding director Chris Columbus that serviced the needs of many partners. WBHE also held an influencer screening, which along with mailers resulted in more than 10 million potential impressions. WB Studio Tours Hollywood’s new Harry Potter exhibits served as the stunning backdrop for the press day and film screening.

Retailers such as Apple supported the campaign with storefront merchandising and on social media. Additionally, an exclusive Anniversary Collector’s Edition with special Hogwarts Express packaging was created for Amazon.

WBHE supported HBO Max strategically with the release of Magical Movie Mode on Nov. 4, timed to the actual anniversary of the original film’s theatrical release. HBO Max, in turn, created an anniversary destination on the platform that leveraged WBHE’s key arts. A selection of extra bonus content throughout the year also was made available to further engage viewers.

The Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team leveraged the 20th anniversary to create a campaign around 20 iconic moments of magic from the film. Wizarding World Digital developed that idea into an online hub for fans on the Wizarding World website. The franchise team also amplified many of the social assets created by WBHE, including two fun filters, for use worldwide.

WB Consumer Products created programs to eventize the moment at retail. Licensee products figured heavily in home entertainment influencer unboxings and in activity packets with recipes and more. Additionally, influencer videos with domino artist and YouTuber Hevesh5, who integrated Magical Movie Mode product into one of her Harry Potter masterpieces, logged 25 million views alone. And Themed Entertainment rolled out cafés in Harry Potter-crazed Japan, using WBHE’s creative assets.

WB’s Alternate Content team re-released the first film with hundreds of screenings worldwide, featuring home entertainment artwork on posters, and included a 10-minute preview of Magical Movie Mode that played after the main feature.

The 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone amounted to a year of truly unforgettable magic.

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■ Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As the world began to come out from under the heavy weight of the pandemic, and theaters began to open wider, Sony Pictures launched Venom: Let There Be Carnage in theaters in October 2021. This set the stage for a ramped-up home entertainment campaign that focused on the strong franchise and ideal holiday timing.

The global marketing team deftly re-positioned the home entertainment launch to holiday audiences looking for a bit of popcorn entertainment at home over the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. Media and digital marketing created hyper-focused assets to reach all audiences 13 and up.

The social media team leaned heavily into engaging content on key platforms to reach young audiences with tongue-in-cheek campaigns that reflected the lighthearted interplay that audiences loved in the film. Tactics included conversational and seasonal GIFs, AR effects for Instagram and Facebook, with QR code on in-store displays, and custom content like the rom-com spoof which aimed at showcasing the action film as a seasonal rom-com.

Timed to the season, the social team created a 10-hour Venom-themed Yule log where audiences could pop on YouTube and enjoy a crackling fireplace alongside quips and dialogue between Venom and Eddie as they enjoyed hot chocolate. RVOD customers also enjoyed programming the Yule log into their barker channel for added fun and visibility.

A key pillar of the marketing campaign was to showcase more than an hour of behind-the-scenes footage and special features. Part of this was an exclusive deleted scene that grabbed more than 6 million views on YouTube alone.

From a publicity perspective, press and influencers continued to share their love of Venom. To blow out the release, publicity enlisted a popular rage room space in downtown Los Angeles where they themed out multiple rooms to Eddie Brock’s apartment. Upon arrival, all participating press and influencers got geared up with highly desired “Eddie B.” branded coveralls and went into their assigned room to take out their rage like Venom. One of the biggest hits was the creation of Mrs. Chen’s Mobile Convenience Store, where Peggy Lu (as Mrs. Chen) hung out for the entire day and conducted interviews, photo ops, and helped distribute iconic “Chen’s Market” tote bags. This day had a social reach of 69 million.

The media team created massive awareness by taking a data-driven approach that identified and ultimately converted key audiences. Tactics included leveraging first-party data, contextual targeting and affinity targeting. To spike urgency among young males and dads, Sony Pictures marketers activated across key sports events such as NFL Sunday football as well as NBA programming and further broadened out by blanketing networks such as NBC and ABC, and various cable networks.

All these unique ingredients brought the action and fun together and resulted in an immersive movie-watching experience.

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■ Yellowstone: Season 4
Paramount Home Entertainment

Based on the “Yellowstone” season three cliffhanger and the series’ explosive viewership growth, Paramount Home Entertainment was prepared with a season four home entertainment marketing campaign that spanned six months and established Yellowstone: Season 4 as the biggest TV season release since the final season of “Game of Thrones.”

PHE capitalized on the fan frenzy leading up to the November season premiere in multiple ways. Season four was made available for pre-order through digital retailers four weeks before the premiere. Supported by a digital marketing campaign that reached the series’ growing audience via Roku as well as social platforms Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Reddit, season four registered a stunning 100,000 season pass pre-orders in addition to increased sales of the first three seasons.

To promote the disc release, the home entertainment marketing team launched a highly giftable line look with custom decals for seasons one, two and three. The collectible catalog program achieved support equivalent to a theatrical new release across brick-and-mortar and online channels during the season four broadcast window and holiday season.

As the season came to a close in early January, focus shifted to the season four disc campaign. While the DVD and Blu-ray Disc were made available for pre-order after the season premiere, PHE synchronized its release date announcement to the season finale. Online marketing and social media efforts spiked disc pre-orders by teasing the release’s four hours of special features, including never-before-seen featurettes that deliver on “Yellowstone” fans’ desire to delve deeper into the compelling world created by Taylor Sheridan.

As the March 8 release date approached, the marketing campaign targeted both longtime fans of the franchise as well as new viewers just now engaging in the cultural conversation about the series. The media campaign delivered high-profile spots during sports and scripted series, and Paramount Global brought to bear the power of its portfolio with company-wide support from CBS, Paramount+, Paramount Network, CMT, Smithsonian and other networks.

Public relations efforts were supported by cast members Jefferson White (“Jimmy”) and Jen Landon (“Teeter”). An innovative influencer campaign with experienced creators in metal working, glassblowing and farrier work re-imagined the iconic Y brand while champion lassoers and cowboy cocktails created festive moments for the release. Organic social and influencer superfan posts drove awareness for more than 30 million followers and fans of the show.

Grassroots marketing across the country reached radio and podcast listeners, with a targeted focus on country and western. To further bolster word-of-mouth, Yellowstone: Season 4 was featured in pre-show advertising and print programs at world-renowned live music venues such as the Grand Old Opry and the Ryman Theater.

PHE further tapped into sports fans with multiple activations. In addition to grassroots marketing at rodeos and barrel races, a high-profile sports marketing event showcased the release during the NHL’s Nashville Predators games at Bridgestone Arena, the most-ticketed venue in the world.

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The Power Teams

Paramount Home Entertainment

The following worked on both The Godfather and “Yellowstone” campaigns:

  • Michele Bell, EVP, Worldwide Creative Services, oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Alanna Powers, SVP, Brand Marketing, spearheads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of all feature-length new releases, library titles and acquisitions.
  • Scott Klein, SVP, Brand Marketing, oversees worldwide transactional release strategies, marketing, and management of all television series distributed by Paramount Global.
  • Melinda Froelich, SVP, International Marketing, leads the international marketing teams in developing strategic plans for all titles and products by territory.
  • Hilarie Hildebrandt, SVP, Digital Sales, Global Accounts and Customer Marketing, oversees the strategic vision and execution of consumer-focused marketing programs with all global digital accounts.
  • Michele Rumain, VP, Media, oversees domestic home entertainment media planning for new-release, catalog, acquisitions and television product.
  • Michelle Willey, VP, Worldwide Creative Services, leads creative for new releases, catalog and television campaigns, including product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Lin Park, Director, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.
  • Dashiell Winston, Senior Manager, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.

 

The PR team that worked on The Godfather and “Yellowstone” consisted of Kirsten Anderson, Pamela Grant, Alan Meier, Deborah Peters, Sharon Ramirez and Deborah Thompson.

The following people worked on The Godfather campaign:

  • Todd Sokolove, Director, Brand Marketing, oversees home entertainment product development and promotions for Paramount’s film library
  • Irene Bassett, Director, Brand Marketing, oversees home entertainment marketing activations for Paramount’s film library

 

The following people worked on the “Yellowstone” campaign”

  • Laura Kanamori, Executive Director, Brand Marketing, oversees physical home entertainment marketing for television series from all Viacom networks.
  • Jennifer O’Keefe, Director, Brand Marketing, also manages physical home entertainment marketing for television series from all Viacom networks.
  • Emily Guenther, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing, oversees TVOD home entertainment marketing for television series from Paramount Network, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Smithsonian.

 

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The marketing team that worked on the Ghostbusters: Afterlife campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Katie Ullrich, Abram Lugioyo, Patrick Serrano, Joe Burg, Rene Wilson, Antonio Gimenez-Palazon, Patrick Santiago, Christine Galloway, Kaitlyn Slover, Michael Nixon, Aaron Plourde, Jane Mohon, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and Courtney Yeh.

The marketing team that worked on the Spider-Man: No Way Home campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Katie Ullrich, Gregg Shack, Joe Burg, Derek Mihalik, April Florentino, Eric Kent, Amy Tesser-Marquez, Derek Schulte, Alex Andujar, Tara Rais, Jane Mohon, Jason Rumminger, Dylan Godshall, Christine Galloway, Michael Nixon, Diana Cheng, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and
Courtney Yeh.

The marketing team that worked on the Venom: Let There Be Carnage campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Cynthia Munoz, Abram Lugioyo, Patrick Serrano, Derek Mihalik, Stephanie Wu, Emily Ossip, Nico McManus, Robin Davids, Aaron Plourde, Jane Mohon, Diana Cheng, Rob Czechowicz, Terence Mulcahy, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and Courtney Yeh.

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

  • Hilary Hoffman, EVP, Global Marketing, oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and overall approach for consumer engagement, including developing and leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights.
  • Pam Blum, SVP, Global Marketing, oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s physical and digital releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.
  • Lea Porteneuve, SVP, Global Publicity & Communications, oversees global business, technology and executive communications for UPHE as well as leads strategy and advancement of brand-defining publicity initiatives in support of the studio’s digital and physical in-home offerings around the world.
  • Denise Haro, SVP, Global Consumer Insights & Strategy, oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis, and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.
  • Sandy Choi, SVP, Global Brand Marketing & North America Partnerships, manages worldwide marketing for Focus Features’ home entertainment new-release slate as well as all of UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. Additionally for all of UPHE’s distribution partners, she oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns across both physical and digital platforms and leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.
  • Stephanie Lutjens, SVP, Global Brand Marketing, spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.
  • Joe Eibert, VP, Digital Marketing, oversees UPHE’s owned media marketing, including CRM, websites, influencers and promotions. Eibert also leads division-wide efforts on innovation and multi-cultural opportunities.
  • Nadia Haney, VP, Emerging Partnerships & Formats, is responsible for Universal’s entrée and advancement of new formats, alternative distribution partner marketing, and airline content licensing. Additionally, she serves as a primary liaison for cross-industry growth initiatives.
  • Ted Chi, SVP, Digital Marketing and Media Strategy, oversees the digital strategy and execution for UPHE’s in-home film releases. His remit includes paid, earned and owned media with an emphasis on data and analytics.

 

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Lionsgate

Lionsgate home entertainment marketing executives who worked on The Hunger Games: Ultimate Steelbook Collection campaign include Amelia Rogers, Erin Carter, Tiffany Olivares, Kathy Arendain and Aaron Gershman.

Licorice Pizza

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal/MGM;
Comedy;
Box Office $17.32 million;
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language, sexual material and some drug use.
Stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie.

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, whose films typically emphasize mood over story, adds to his oeuvre with Licorice Pizza, his reflection on life growing up in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

The centerpiece of the film is an unconventional love story between a 15-year-old child actor and a listless 25-year-old woman he hits on during photo day at his high school.

Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, a frequent Anderson collaborator, makes his feature debut as Gary Valentine, a young hustler loosely based on producer Gary Goetzman. He is instantly attracted to the sassy Alana (Alana Haim, a musician also marking her film debut), who finds herself intrigued by his forwardness despite being 10 years older than him.

Gary, as an actor whose mother is involved with marketing several restaurants around the San Fernando Valley, seems to have connections all over town and is quick to exploit any opportunity for profit. First, he starts a business selling water beds, recruiting several of his friends, including Alana, to help run it.

Things are going swimmingly until the oil crisis inflates the costs of plastics needed for his beds, forcing him to close up shop, but not before one last installation at the home of eccentric Hollywood personality Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper), leading to a wild night around town.

Questioning her life choices, Alana turns to political activism, allowing Anderson to dramatize the real-life mayoral campaign of closeted L.A. councilman Joel Wachs (Benny Safdie).

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Like most of Anderson’s films, Licorice Pizza is carried by quirky characters and unconventional dialogue. The title is a reference to a defunct chain of record stores, which Anderson likened to evoking the feeling of childhood memories. The film is somewhat ethereal in that regard, more like a series of vignettes connected through character arcs. Its wistful quality might make it feel disconnected to some viewers, though PTA fans should enjoy his usual touchstones embedded throughout.

Fans of Hollywood history will also enjoy the numerous references to the entertainment industry of the 1970s, not unlike how Once Upon a Time In Hollywood paid tribute to Hollywood in the 1960s.

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The Blu-ray includes a handful of extras but nothing too exciting. Most interesting is a two-minute deleted scene that pays off a pretty important joke that’s in the movie. There’s also Gary filming a fake commercial for his waterbed store.

Also included are four minutes of camera tests and a 10-and-a-half-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that just shows scenes being filmed, without any interviews or context. In fact, the Blu-ray doesn’t really offer any filmmaker discussion, leaving the film’s messaging to pretty much stand on its own. Curious viewers looking for such insights will have better luck on the internet.

Liam Neeson Thriller ‘Blacklight’ Takes Over Redbox Charts

Universal Pictures’ Blacklight took over the top spots on both Redbox’s disc rental chart and the Redbox On Demand chart the week ended May 8.

The film stars Liam Neeson as a troubled off-the-books agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. It earned $9.6 million at the domestic box office.

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home, remained No. 2 on both the disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s more than 40,000 red kiosks, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital VOD and sellthrough transactions.

The top title the previous week, Lionsgate’s Moonfall, slid to No. 3 on both the disc and digital charts.

The No. 4 disc rental was the Redbox-exclusive Black Site, a supernatural fantasy about an elite military unit being recruited to fight beings from another dimension.

The No. 5 disc rental was Universal’s animated sequel Sing 2, which was No. 7 on the digital chart.

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The No. 4 digital title Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was the No. 8 disc rental.

The No. 5 Redbox On Demand title was Spider-Man: All Roads Lead to No Way Home, a half-hour retrospective of 20 years of “Spider-Man” movies. The featurette was offered for free viewing at Redbox’s website.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended May 8:

  1. Blacklight — Universal
  2. Spider-Man: No Way Home — Sony Pictures/Marvel
  3. Moonfall — Lionsgate
  4. Black Site — Redbox
  5. Sing 2 — Universal
  6. Jackass Forever — Paramount
  7. Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse — Paramount
  8. Ghostbusters: Afterlife — Sony Pictures
  9. Marry Me — Universal
  10. The Outfit — Universal

 

Top Digital (VOD + Sellthrough), Redbox On Demand, Week Ended May 8:

  1. Blacklight — Universal
  2. Spider-Man: No Way Home — Sony Pictures/Marvel
  3. Moonfall — Lionsgate
  4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife — Sony Pictures
  5. Spider-Man: All Roads Lead to No Way Home — Sony Pictures
  6. Uncharted — Sony Pictures
  7. Sing 2 — Universal
  8. Infinite — Paramount
  9. Jackass Forever — Paramount
  10. Marry Me — Universal

 

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Ups Q1 Revenue 10%

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on April 28 said sales of packaged media, digital movies, among other content, in the first quarter (ended March 31) generated $310 million in revenue, which was up almost 10% from revenue of $282 million in the prior-year period.

The tally dwarfed theatrical, which saw revenue of $168 million — largely driven by the box office release Marry Me, co-starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. The numbers marked a positive turn for theatrical, which saw just $39 million in revenue in the prior-year period when most theaters remain shuttered or operating at 50% capacity due to the pandemic.

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Marry Me, which streamed on Peacock the same day it hit the box office, was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc March 29 — about two weeks after its availability across digital retail channels.

Meanwhile, content licensing to Peacock and third-party distribution platforms remains NBCUniversal’s largest revenue driver, approaching $2.8 billion. That compared with $2 billion in revenue in the prior-year period.

Universal’s ‘Sing 2’ Climbs to No. 1 on U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Sing 2 sang its way to the No. 1 spot on the Official Film Chart, ending the five-week reign at the top for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which came in at No. 2.

The follow-up to 2016’s animated musical comedy Sing, the sequel climbed two spots based on digital downloads only. In the sequel, theater owner Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and his friends must convince reclusive rock star Clay Calloway (Bono) to join them in their new show — despite him not being seen in public for 15 years.

Paramount Home Entertainment’s Jackass Forever claimed the week’s highest new chart entry at No. 3 spot on digital downloads only. Meanwhile, director/actor Kenneth Branagh had a double whammy with Death on the Nile at No. 4, and Oscar nominated Belfast up one spot to a new peak of No. 5. Warner Home Media’s Dune landed at No. 6 and the studio’s The Matrix Resurrections kept its spot at No. 7, while the latest Scream movie (Paramount) tumbled to No. 8.

Finally, Paramount’s animated adventure Paw Patrol: The Movie (No. 9) and Universal’s James Bond actioner No Time to Die (No. 10) both climbed one spot to round off the chart.

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The Official Film Chart Top 10 – April 27, 2022

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 3 SING 2 UNIVERSAL
2 1 SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME SONY PICTURES
3 NEW JACKASS FOREVER PARAMOUNT
4 4 DEATH ON THE NILE 20TH CENTURY
5 6 BELFAST UNIVERSAL
6 5 DUNE (2021) WARNER
7 7 THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS WARNER
8 2 SCREAM (2022) PARAMOUNT
9 10 PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE PARAMOUNT
10 11 NO TIME TO DIE UNIVERSAL

© Official Charts Company 2022

‘Sing,’ ‘Scream’ Loudest on Disc Sales Charts

Universal Pictures’ Sing 2 repeated as No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, the week ended April 9.

The animated sequel barely edged out Paramount’s newly released Scream relaunch, which sold 87% as many copies as the top title. However, the fifth “Scream” movie was the top Blu-ray Disc seller for the week, with 62% of its sales come from Blu-ray formats, compared with 50% for Sing 2. The 4K Ultra HD version accounted for 27% of total Scream sales (with 35% from regular Blu-ray and 38% DVD).

Another newcomer, Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Death on the Nile, debuted at No. 5 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray Disc chart. Director Kenneth Branagh’s latest Agatha Christie adaptation had 56% of its sales come from Blu-ray formats (45% regular Blu-ray and 11% 4K Ultra HD) and 44% from DVD.

Disney’s animated Encanto was the No. 3 overall disc seller for the week and No. 5 on the Blu-ray Disc chart. The No. 4 overall seller, and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart, was Warner’s The Matrix Resurrections.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 10 also saw Sing 2 maintain the No. 1 spot, with Scream at No. 2.

Universal Pictures’ Marry Me slipped a spot to No. 3. The action comedy Last Looks from RLJ Entertainment debuted at No. 4, followed by Matrix Resurrections at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 4-9-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 4-10-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 4-9-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 4-9-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 4-9-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 4-11-22

 

Liam Neeson Thriller ‘Blacklight’ Due on Digital April 19, Disc May 3

The Liam Neeson action thriller Blacklight will be released for digital sellthrough April 19, and on Blu-ray and DVD May 3 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

From Briarcliff Entertainment, the film follows a troubled off-the-books agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. Travis Block (Neeson), a freelance government “fixer,” is a dangerous man whose assignments have included extracting agents out of deep-cover situations. He knows his hands are dirty, but he’s aiming to change. When an agent is killed after infiltrating a group espousing violent societal upheaval, Block discovers a shadowy program called Operation Unity is striking down ordinary citizens for reasons known only to Block’s boss, FBI chief Robinson (Aidan Quinn). As Block gets closer to the truth, he enlists the help of a journalist (Emmy Raver-Lampman), but his past and present collide when his daughter and granddaughter are threatened. 

Special features include “Blacklight: Behind the Scenes” and “Shooting Blacklight.”

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‘Sing 2’ Debuts at No. 1 on Disc Sales Charts

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Sing 2 easily debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended April 2.

The animated film, about singing animals putting on a stage show, earned $162 million at the domestic box office. Blu-ray formats accounted for 56% of Sing 2 unit sales (50% regular Blu-ray and 6% 4K Ultra HD).

A two-pack of both “Sing” movies was the week’s No. 2 performer, selling about 16% as many copies as the standalone edition of the sequel. It had 44% of its sales from Blu-ray. The two-pack wasn’t released with a 4K option.

The top title the previous three weeks, Paramount’s Yellowstone: Season Four, dropped to No. 3 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart.

No. 4 on the overall disc chart, and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart, was Warner’s The Matrix Resurrections, followed by Disney’s Encanto, which was No. 5 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 5 Blu-ray seller was Warner’s remake of Dune, which was No. 8 on the overall disc chart.

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The only other newcomer in the top 10 was Universal’s Marry Me, which debuted at No. 6 on both charts. The romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson earned $22.4 million at the domestic box office. It had 39% of its unit sales come from the Blu-ray version.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended April 3 also had Sing 2 in the top spot, with Marry Me at No. 2.

Matrix Resurrections dropped to No. 3, followed by Ghostbusters: Afterlife at No. 4, and Lionsgate’s shark-attack thriller The Requin at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 4-2-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 4-3-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 4-2-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 4-2-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 4-2-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 4-4-22

Oscar-Lauded ‘Cyrano’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD April 19

Cyrano, nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD April 19 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

A re-imagining of the timeless tale of a heartbreaking love triangle, the film follows Cyrano de Bergerac (Peter Dinklage), who dazzles with both ferocious wordplay and brilliant swordplay but is convinced that his appearance makes him unworthy of the love of his devoted friend Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Roxanne has fallen in love at first sight with Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).

Special features include a making-of featurette.

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Merchandising: ‘Sing 2’ Makes Music at Retail

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released the animated sequel Sing 2 on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD March 29, with exclusive editions available at Target and Walmart.

The sequel to Illumination Entertainment’s 2016 hit Sing finds the ever-optimistic Koala, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), and his cast having big dreams of staging their most dazzling show yet in the glittering entertainment capital of the world, Redshore City. But to do so, they must persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Calloway (Bono), to join them. Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Ash (Scarlett Johansson), Johnny (Taron Egerton), Meena (Tori Kelly) and Gunter (Nick Kroll) also return.

Target offered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack at $26.99 with 10 collectible character art cards with a special slipcover for any of the cards to be used as box art.

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Walmart had the Blu-ray combo pack in a gift set for $29.96 with an inflatable guitar, rock-star sunglasses and a microphone.

Walmart’s ‘Sing 2’ Blu-ray gift set