July 14, 2014
Transformers Huge in China
Sometimes a movie won’t do well in the States, but it will find its footing across the ocean. And, sometimes, a film is designed to do just that. Sure, Transformers 4 was not the box office juggernaut it could have been in the USA, but it has already topped $220 million in sales in China. And, Ronn Torossian says, with a massive fan base of eager moviegoers you can expect an increasing number of summer blockbusters being built to travel.
So far, Transformers: Age of Extinction is setting the pace in this regard. According to Businessweek, the producers cast several of the movie’s cast via a reality show in China, and some of the action scenes are actually set in that country. Both of these facts were key points in a massive Chinese PR push ahead of the movie’s release in the People’s Republic.
But, marketing alone cannot turn a crossover film into a foreign success. They have to set the table with carefully crafted entertainment PR liberally seasoned with an acute understanding of multiple markets. The point being, even mass media isn’t made for just American “masses”, anymore. Not if anyone wants to make any money on the projects, anyway.
Americans are going out to the movies less and less, even during traditionally popular seasons such as the summer blockbuster time centered around the Independence Day weekend. In fact, the most recent 4th of July weekend turned in record low numbers, with theaters taking in one-third less than they made during the same period last year. While some are blaming this on soccer, movie producers have far too much invested to think so short term. To compensate for this trend, movie makers have to find additional audiences … and they have to market the same movies to them.
Every brand and every industry, sooner or later, has to face these challenges. Markets get saturated, and new markets must be discovered and developed. Without an expert PR team on your side, that task can prove next to impossible.