I knew Gravity was something special when my Facebook wall exploded with awe-struck mini-critiques from my friends (especially my Baby Boomer friends) the night the movie opened. Alfonso Cuarón’s meditation on life and death in space went on to enjoy the highest-grossing opening October weekend of any movie and an amazing 98-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (the kind of overwhelming critical approval that is generally reserved for Pixar’s best movies, such as Toy Story 3).
Within two weekends, Gravity has racked up $123 million in the United States and (for once) has given audiences a reason to shell out more money to see a 3D film. And before all is said and done, Gravity may very well rescue the science fiction genre from the clutches of the young male audience. Here are three major lessons of Gravity‘s success (warning: plot spoilers ahead):
Audiences Reward Risk Taking
Americans are equal opportunity movie goers: we’ll turn out in droves for Adam Sandler, schlock, but we’ll also reward ambitious movies that take risks and challenge us, too. Gravity does a number of things that challenge our expectations of the sci-fi genre. It’s not action packed. The entire movie takes place in essentially one location. One of the major stars dies Continue reading →
James Bond is back. And he brought his brand with him. Skyfall, the twenty third film in the 007 movie franchise, lands today in movie theaters across the United States after earning £50 million in 10 days in the United Kingdom (a U.K. record). In fact, Skyfall, the third Bond to feature Daniel Craig, began conquering audiences long before the movie opened. Skyfall has generated strong buzz through a masterful mix of PR and marketing that capitalizes on 2012 being Bond’s 50th anniversary on film. By celebrating both 007’s past and his future, Eon Productions, which has reaped $4.9 billion from the Bond movie franchise, has positioned Bond as a brand with timeless appeal.
You Can’t Buy This Kind of Advertising
You know can always tell when a phenomenon enjoys media saturation by walking through a busy airport terminal past the crowded newsstands, which give you a quick snapshot of pop culture from magazine covers vying for your eyeballs. Daniel Craig’s macho face is everywhere, gracing the covers of publications ranging from Entertainment Weekly to Vanity Fair. And the PR explosion has occurred at international, national, and local levels. In London, Bond graces the Continue reading →