Smaller movies saving Hollywood’s 2006

Check out this article from The New York Times. It talks about the overall box office picture so far in 2006 and how receipts have stayed solid this year. What it really shows, though, is how the blockbusters aren’t the ones saving the day. A number of big films with heavy promotional and marketing efforts have either flopped or at least not performed as expected. The films that have filled in the gap are smaller ones with smaller budgets that appeal to niche audiences.

The article contrasts this year to last as well. Where last year there were a number of high-profile releases in late November and December this year there aren’t. That means those same smaller movies are going to have to help the studios finish the year strong.

It’s all about targeting the right audience and having films whose cost is in line with how the film can realistically do. This year there happened to be a number of those. I hope this is a lesson Hollywood continues to show they’ve learned.

Happy Feet’s promotional partnerships

Warner Bros. lined up 10 domestic promotional partners for Happy Feet, including cable company  Comcast and Roche, makers of the flu drug Tamiflu. Not everyone is thrilled at that last one since they say it could weaken the nation’s defense against an avian flu outbreak, one that Tamiflu is supposed to be a key weapon against. Plus there’s that whole “it might make you nuts” issue.

New Yorker helps promote DVD of An Inconvenient Truth

A select group of subscribers to The New Yorker got, as a bonus to everything else, a free DVD copy of Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth. There’s no official word on how many copies were actually sent out but it’s estimated at about 1,500.

Touristas’ YouTube strategy

Anne Thompson at the Risky Biz Blog has a look at the Touristas campaign from Fox Atomic. The division is headed by the same guy who headed-up the Blair Witch Project campaign and is seeding YouTube with corny filmstrip-style travel advisories like the one she includes here. Thompson also points out how similar the Touristas teaser poster is to BWP’s.