“Deadpool”, 20th Century Fox’s latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, opened this weekend to over $132 million domestic sales, broke several R-rated records, and hit a high of $70 million for its three-day debut.
According to Forbes, the success of the film would have been impossible without the unique and aggressive strategy on the part of the marketing team responsible for getting the word out there about “Deadpool.” Their strategy: non-stop content from the campaign. It was impossible to turn on the TV, browse the web, or go see a movie for months before its release without seeing advertisements for the film.
Critique that 20th Century Fox had gone overboard falls flat when you look at the numbers. Marc Weinstock, the president of domestic marketing for 20th Century Fox, said, “We had a fantastic superhero movie on one end and a hilarious comedy on the other and we knew if we did our job right we could bring in both audiences.”
“Deadpool” marketers had their work cut out for them, though. Fox had taken a bet by featuring a relatively unknown, potty-mouthed anti-hero, on a budget of $58 million (a tiny sum in the Marvel film world). The R-rating also posed a problem, limiting the younger audience that would bring in.
However, they used these challenges to their advantage. A lot of the content was centered around introducing Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, which also allowed Fox to distribute a wide variety of content without revealing key plot points.
“Deadpool” released an April Fool’s Day interview on “Extra,” counted down to Christmas with “12 Days of Deadpool,” raised awareness for testicular cancer in a parody PSA, tweeted during the premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” and even had his own Tinder account. There is no doubt that the promotion of the film was a well-rounded approach.
The marketing techniques used to promote this film can certainly be applied to other areas, such as professional web development and content marketing. Embracing social media platforms, including the aforementioned dating app, certainly contributed to the film’s success as well.
“The Deadpool marketing campaign essentially started with a two-minute video that was leaked online and took off through social media,” said John Diaz, Vice President of Business Development and Operations with On Top Visibility. “That served as a springboard to getting this film made. Social media in particular provides an excellent platform to deliver ‘teaser’ content to the target audience, building anticipation, and getting the audience involved in the conversation. This kind of hype fuels interest and was probably part of the reason that the film performed so well at the box office.”
Deadpool’s character also has the tendency to break the fourth wall, which may have presented the studio extra leeway to go a bit overboard when it came to the marketing.
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