Sunday, April 25, 2010
Act I. The Campaign
In attempting to market District 9 to American audiences, Sony Pictures had a difficult task. There were no big stars in the film, save for the producer-attachment of Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson. Though the Sci-Fi element and the aliens that come with the genre intrigue people, the extraterrestrials in the film were grotesque-looking, labeled as “prawns” throughout the movie. District 9 was not based on a series of novels by a Philip Dick or a H.G. Wells; nor was the film shot and released in 3-D, an element of today’s movie market that contributed to a 10% year-over-year increase in domestic box office receipts, according to the MPAA. So, why did the movie end up grossing, according to Box Office Mojo, $115.6 million domestically? Sure the Oscar®-nominated product itself was a great film, but there had to be some strong marketing that generated buzz for its August 14, 2009 opening weekend. Let me take you through Sony’s campaign.