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Will Hollywood Learn from 'The Fault In Our Stars'?

Thompson on Hollywood By Chris Dorr | Thompson on Hollywood June 10, 2014 at 10:30AM

This past weekend showed that the marketing strategy employed by Fox and Mr. Dewey for "The Fault in Our Stars" was "spot on." The studio projected that the movie would hit $29 million at the North American box office. But something else happened.
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'The Fault in Our Stars'
'The Fault in Our Stars'

In June of 2012 I wrote Another Crack in the Mass Media Wall, a post that detailed how Lionsgate effectively used social media for the first time to get a huge opening weekend for "The Hunger Games."

It is worth noting that two years later Hollywood decided to follow up on its own innovation with the release of "The Fault in Our Stars."

As described in How "The Fault in Our Stars" Movie Became a Social Media Supernova, Fox effectively reached its audience with a well planned social media campaign before the movie opened. (The dedicated fanbase of John Green, author of the film's YA-novel source material, also played a part.)

"Other movies have done [social media outreach] in places," George Dewey, Fox's senior vice-president for domestic digital marketing, tells Yahoo Movies. “We're doing it across the board. I think the combination of the passion that pre-existed the movie with the decision to involve fans every single step of the way is why you see so much conversation about The Fault in Our Stars now."

Dewey goes on to comment:

"In general, treating fans as part of the campaign as opposed to the audience for the campaign is the future of how movies will market."

This view expressed by Dewey is still a minority one within the Hollywood marketing and distribution machine.  Most in Hollywood still believe that the audience is simply there to receive the campaign -- not be part of it. This dominant point of view clings to the old mass media model of "we create, you simply consume," where all control rests with the media company and gives no control or "emotional ownership" to the audience.  But we live in a new world. 

This past weekend showed that the marketing strategy employed by Fox and Mr. Dewey was "spot on." The studio projected that the movie would hit $29 million at the North American box office.

But something else happened. 

Read the rest of the story here.

This article is related to: Shailene Woodley, News, Features, The Fault in Our Stars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.