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Blockbuster Case Study: Avatar (CMNS 230)
Transcript of Blockbuster Case Study: Avatar (CMNS 230)
Film Studio Distribution Strategies
Wide Release Strategy
Limited Release Strategy
Andrew, Misato, & Nadine
Designing Global Entertainment Media: Blockbuster Films, TV Formats, Glocalized Lifestyle Brands
1. Limited Release Strategy
2. Wide Release Strategy
Applying the Wide Release Strategy to
Economic Characteristics of Blockbusters
Relating Mirrlees to
Textual Characteristics of Blockbusters
Business Model of
Difficult to meet most economic blockbuster characteristics but can still use Big Synergy and Big Audience
Use textual blockbuster characteristics to maximize consumer response
ex. racially diverse actors, drawing from previous successes, combining genres, maintaining classic narratives, creating spectacles with technology
- Majority of blockbusters exceed $100million
- Usually 25% of budget
- Simultaneous, ubiquitous
- Merchandising, products and promotions not directly related to film
- Targeting international audience
- prestige and familiarity
Definition of "blockbuster"
a thing of great power or size, in particular a movie, book, or other product that is a great commercial success
Launching and Managing Blockbusters
How it works:
start with low distribution & advertising levels
invest high levels of marketing spending in advance to product release
attract right audience to spread word & increase coverage if product shows growth potential
gradually discover the appropriate level of marketing spending
- visual aesthetics are universally appreciated & improves cinema experience
Classical narrative structure
- easily consumable
- mass appeal
- cultural proximity
capture the widest possible audience attention
How it works:
starts with high distribution & concentrated promotion in short period before release
1. Promotion in advance
first trailer released August 20th 2009, aka "Avatar Day"
2. Concentrated marketing right before release
ex. "Avatar Live" director & actor webcast interview December 3rd 2009
3. Sales peak quickly
opening weekend revenues of $77,025,481 in US
4. Revenues taper off after initial release
9 months after the film's initial release, the IMAX 3D version's opening weekend makes only $4,007,750 in US
pattern of release
$237 million dollars
$150 million dollars
ticket sales, physical copies, merchandise, TV license deals, pay-per-view digital content providers, home entertainment
premiere, worldwide release, IMAX release
DVDs, Blu-ray, toys, collectibles, video game, etc
How can a Canadian production company create and structure a blockbuster film?
Other ideas for financing Canadian blockbusters:
company partnerships with Hollywood studios
additional tax credits, incentives, government grants
develop a system to define "Canadian" & encourage film investment - perhaps similar to Pilot Project 2?
1. Why might a media producer opt for a limited release strategy instead of a wide release strategy?
2. Do the economic and textual trends of blockbuster film production take away or add to the quality of these films?
Content that is culturally similar to that of an audience will be more successful.
Content that is culturally unfamiliar to an audience will be less successful.
Cultural Relevance and
$150m approx. 38% of