The recession drove more consumers into movie theaters in 2009 and resulted in industry revenues that topped $10 billion. While a ticket to a pro ball game is beyond the budget of most people, especially those who are accepting pay cuts or worried about losing their job, attending movies is seen as an affordable luxury. Despite this good news, the movie industry is watching profitability closely, especially in light of the large drop in DVD revenues.
Studios expect to release several important films in 2010 but the marketing budgets “are sure to get put under the microscope.” In 2007, major films were rolled out with average marketing budgets of $36 million. This figure is certain to drop and strategies will change. Here are a few strategies studio executives may use in the coming year:
- More partners in promotional agreements to access expensive media channels
- Decreased used of print, radio and outdoor
- Continued use of TV to reach mass market for broad based films
Other analysts expect that studios may try to compress their marketing budgets. In that case, one ad run would cover both the theater and DVD release. To make this strategy work, studios would cut the amount of time between those releases.
Writing for AdweekMedia, T.L. Stanley concludes, “[i]f there's anything Hollywood has learned lately, it's that word of mouth has never been more important for boosting (or killing) a movie.” As we move into 2010, movie studios will be looking to employ innovative blends of old and new media with marketing dollars.[Source: Stanley, T.L., Studios/Entertainment Category, AdweekMedia Forecast 2010, 1.2.10]