What to make of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues?
The sequel to the popular 2004 Anchorman comedy dominated the cultural landscape months before the movie opened December 18 thanks to an inventive marketing campaign. However, after “changing the way movies are marketed” (in the words of Adweek‘s Chris Heine) through original content, viral marketing stunts, and social media, the movie underperformed at the box office during its opening weekend — only to bounce back in following weeks on its way to grossing $122.2 million domestically and $163.9 million worldwide as of January 19. So did the clever marketing make a difference? Yes and no. I believe audience word of mouth and positive reviews were the real story of the movie’s box office success after a slow start. But the marketing blitz galvanized a one-man brand who may generate financial value for Paramount Pictures beyond the movie’s ticket sales.
A Formula for Success?
Paramount Pictures had every reason to believe Anchorman 2 would succeed coming out of the gate. The movie reunited the principal players who had made the original Anchorman a financial success, including Will Ferrell (as both lead actor and co-writer), director (and co-writer) Adam McKay, and producer Judd Apatow, whose work has shaped and even defined comedy for the past decade. And, as Adweek documented well, the run-up to the movie’s opening weekend involved an all-encompassing Continue reading