Though highly anticipated by fans, “Blade Runner 2049” has flopped at the
The sequel to the cult favorite “Blade Runner” stars Ryan Gosling and
Harrison Ford, along with other A-list actors such as Jared Leto and Robyn
In an era where studios relentlessly plunder
the tombs of movies past, always looking for the next successful remake or reboot, few revivals
have caused as much trepidation and excitement as Blade Runner 2049.
However, it opened to lackluster numbers, bringing in roughly $31 million
in its recent debut in the United States and Canada.
Here are several marketing insights you can glean from “Blade Runner
2049’s” promotional derailment:
1. Less is more.
Clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes, the film’s run time might scare
Brand managers should remember that audiences have a short attention span,
so briefer marketing efforts might play better with consumers.
2. Reviews aren’t everything
. The film is garnering strong word-of-mouth reviews and an 88 percent
rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has also won over critics. However, it’s not
translating into revenue.
The lesson: Reviews don’t always matter. If your product, service or
organization carries enough negatives, a positive buzz won’t save your
3. Watch your competition.
Some speculate that “It” stole potential viewers of “Blade Runner 2049.”
The Stephen King adaptation outperformed projections, banking more than
$600 million in its run so far. For those who only go to the theater
occasionally, this can cut into “Blade Runner 2049’s” ticket sales.
Marketers, time your launch when your competition is quiet.
4. Appeal to several audiences.
Critics say that “Blade Runner 2049” holds little appeal for women, with
its core audience skewing toward men over the age of 25. Warner Bros. said
that 71 percent of opening-weekend ticket buyers were male.
“I’m disappointed,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution
for Warner Bros. “The real trick now is to expand the audience past older
Movies in general did
this summer, with the exception of Patty Jenkins’s flick and
It. Make Pennywise a woman and you have your next smash hit. You’re welcome,
Hollywood. Coming up behind Blade Runner 2049 at the box office
was The Mountain Between Us, which brought in $10 million, and
cost only $35 million to make. The
marketing for that film
was all over the place, and it is reportedly terrible, but it appealed to a
heterosexual woman’s interest in watching Idris Elba for two hours.
Unless you’re sure a narrow audience will boost your campaign’s ROI and
your organization’s bottom line, aim for wider appeal.
5. Pique consumers’ interest.
Some blame the film’s generic trailers, which didn’t give away many
secrets, for its lackluster opening. That move was probably due to “Blade
Runner 2049’s” creators trying to keep plot details under wraps.
Though marketers might want to keep some secrets close to the vest, perhaps
a teaser before the product is launched revealing enough to whet the
buyer’s appetite is in order. Otherwise, why should consumers be excited?
6. Build on a hit.
The original “Blade Runner” carries with it a loyal fan base, but it was
never a box-office smash.
Are you creating add-on of follow-up products and services? Take a hard
look at what came before—and consequent successes—to ensure a product or
service warrants a sequel.
7. Timing matters.
It’s been 35 years since “Blade Runner” hit theaters. Many are too young to
have seen the original and won’t be interested in a sequel. For others, it
might have been too long ago.
If you’re planning a second version your product or service, release it
before consumers lose interest.
What lessons would you add, PR Daily readers?