How Legendary is Trying to Turn Around Troubling Tracking for ‘Pacific Rim’
Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. had a big problem on their hands last week: Low tracking numbers for “Pacific Rim” – the last thing any producer wants to see before releasing an expensive summer movie.
The numbers proved to be a surprise, given that Legendary has been courting genre fans for nearly a year since introducing footage of the Guillermo del Toro-helmed monster mash-up at last summer’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Legendary needed to. “Pacific Rim” isn’t based on an established property and “kaiju” isn’t on the tip of everyone’s tongue, especially in the U.S.
With around 70% of the film’s marketing budget still to be spent, as of last week, and well before the film’s cast, including Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba hit the talkshow circuit — Legendary and WB are showing just how they aim to turn around early so-so perceptions and get moviegoers excited about the $180 million epic that was developed as a potential new film franchise.
Whether any of the new TV spots, online featurettes or social media pushes will pay off at the box office on July 12 remains to be seen. But for now, the latest effort is providing marketers with an interesting case study.
SPOTLIGHT THE HUMANS:
Oh, yes, there are people in “Pacific Rim,” and a series of new featurettes emphasize the human characters over the robots or monsters, with an exclusive clip provided to MTV highlighting two of the main characters played by Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi.
Another sequence, given to Yahoo! Movies, features a scene between Hunnam and Elba:
HYPE THE SHOCK AND AWE:
New materials stress the sheer scope and scale of “Pacific Rim,” with footage, behind-the-scenes features and photos flooding Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and blogs discussing the world and creative decisions behind the film. Filmmakers clearly want moviegoers to have the same reaction that Elba’s character has, when he dramatically proclaims in one TV spot: “I’ve. Never. Seen anything like that.” There are now 11 TV spots produced for the film that are airing worldwide, with more expected to follow as the release date quickly approaches.
EMPHASIZE THE HUMOR:
In a viral video, Ron Perlman is in character enthusiastically promoting organs, tissue and bodily fluids collected from the Kaiju monsters as ways to lose weight, look younger, beat cancer, prevent heart attacks and strokes, cure insomnia and reverse balding. “Just because the apocalypse is here doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel your best,” he says.
PAY RESPECT TO “INDEPENDENCE DAY”:
It’s tough not to think of “Independence Day” when you see footage of jet fighters attacking aliens and hear leaders giving dramatic speeches to boost spirits. And that’s just fine. “Independence Day” was a massive hit, and a sequel is coming.