Netflix Leaps Into Big Movie Promotion, Competitive WIth Legacy Film Studios

Netflix has the right idea: Go big for movieswhen it comes to targeting the in-theater-going movie audience with this theme line: “New Movies. All Year.” Essentially, it's running one new movie a week.

This begs the question: Will new types of marketing for theatrically-intended movies land on live, linear TV networks when it comes to distributions on streaming platforms.?

The current promotion of WarnerMedia’s “Wonder Women 1984” has pretty standard stuff.

Overall national TV spending for “WW84” was about the same as for a movie exclusively headed to theaters -- $31.2 million, according to (That said, a good chunk of this started before the pandemic took hold, with plans to launch the movie in theaters in June 2020.)

But will future efforts -- especially through 2021 -- be more about where you can see these theatrical movies, say on new streaming platforms?



Just days into its movies all-year-round effort, Netflix has spent a modest $2.3 million for a limited number of airings of select high profile actors/director connected movies. It already teased this back in October with a limited national TV campaign.

Considering the growing streaming competition for all legacy media companies, which will roll out in 2021, guess what the next innovation in movie marketing might be?

This includes, of course, response to WarnerMedia groundbreaking decision to make its full slate of 17 theatrical-quality movies available in theaters (whatever U.S. theaters are open at the time) and on streaming platform HBO Max at the same time.

Netflix's effort is more than just 52 movies for 52 weeks. It has a slate of 71 titles across genres — from musicals to action, romantic comedies to family animation -- original Netflix production and some acquired stuff.

Movies include “Red Notice,” starring Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, and Ryan Reynolds -- performers who hosted and appear in the Netflix one-minute long spot.

Other movies to come: “The Harder They Fall” with Regina King and Idris Elba, “Lovecraft County” (Jonathan Majors), Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Tick, Tick … Boom!” and “Don’t Look Up” ( Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio).

Typically, national media buying and planning for most widescreen theatrical release movies starts around six to eight weeks before their cinema opening. Now, some of those dynamics may need to change.

Given the new glut of at-home entertainment films, might more media exposure come on traditional media platforms closer to airtime? Will movie promotion on media movie studios owned streaming and legacy TV platforms work better than paid media? And what about creative?

Finding new ways to promote really big entertainment productions on streaming -- say movies costing $100 million or more to make -- will need to find better marketing/monetization efforts. It demands superhero efforts.

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