This is the fourth part of my many posts on the different methods of movie marketing, this one covering premieres. This is mainly for my film students who are looking at the relationship between film producers and audiences. First we looked at how producers get information from audiences and now we move on to how producers give information to audiences. You can find part one on posters and trailers here. Part 2 on TV, radio and print media advertising and using the internet and viral marketing is here. Part 3 on movie merchandise is here.
Premieres are another way to help market a movie, particularly if the film has big internationally recognisable stars that are willing or contracted to attend. Premieres are the first official screening of the film to the public and are often big events in major cities across the world. They have a red carpet and the press and fans gather outside the cinemas to see the stars arrive for the screening. The press interview the stars and filmmakers on the red carpet (or blue in the case of Fast and Furious 6) and these interviews help to publicise the film in the media.
Sometimes premieres for the biggest films even end up being covered by news programmes because they are such a big story. This is excellent publicity for the studios as it gets the film in the consciousness of everybody who watches the news or reads magazines. Often the stars are dressed in the latest fashions and minor celebrities also attend so pictures, videos and news items appear in celebrity gossip and fashion magazines. This targets an even wider audience for the film than the other forms of marketing.
The final Harry Potter film was covered by the news because fans were sleeping out on the streets in order to see the stars. Some premieres appear to take over Leicester Square with the landmark being transformed into a scene from Willy Wonka's chocolate factory complete with giant candy canes and lollipops for the premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The bigger the stars and the more work that is put into making the premiere an event, the more attention it will get.
Having even just one international star can really boost a smaller film if that star attends the premiere. For example the small British film Is Anybody There? would not have the same marketing budget as a Hollywood blockbuster but because Michael Caine stars in it and attended the premiere, there will be more attention brought to it in the press than a similar small British film with no recognisable stars in the cast.
Next part is on press junkets and preview screenings.