Disney Spends $14 Million Plugging 'Endgame,' Overwhelms Pre-Sale Ticket-Buying Sites

In what could be one of the greatest returns on advertising investment (ROAI) this year, Walt Disney Co. has spent $13.6 million on ads promoting this weekend's release of "Avengers: Endgame," the much anticipated culmination of a series of blockbuster Marvel film releases.

Why is that such a significant ROAI? Because some already are speculating that it could set a new opening weekend box office record -- maybe even $1 billion in domestic and overseas receipts.

According to Kantar, Disney has spent a total of $13.6 million promoting “Endgame” through April 21. By comparison, the studio spent $11.1 million promoting “Thor: Ragnarok,” a much lower-profile film in the series.

“The vast majority of the budget went to TV, with network TV alone making up more than half of spend, or $7.4 million,” a Kantar spokesperson noted, adding: “The TV medium of course is a good fit for movie trailers, and it’s also clear that movie studios rely strongly on the mass audiences network TV offers.”

In fact, demand for the film has been so heightened that Disney actually had to throttle back its ad spending when advance ticket buyers overwhelmed Fandango’s and AMC’s early booking sites.

“In addition to standard :15 and :30 ads, Disney also used some :60 ads,” Kantar’s spokesperson noted, adding: “These long-form ads seemed intended to stoke interest in ticket pre-sales, as they aired almost exclusively on April 2 – the day pre-sales went live. The one-minute ads were primarily placed on talk shows, including ‘The Today Show,’ ‘James Corden’s Late Late Show’ and ‘Late Night with Seth Myers’.”

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