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.