When marketing their films, Hollywood movie studios have a set formula for success, depending on what genre they’re promoting. These film trailers are designed to entice new audiences to watch movies they otherwise might not watch…
But recently these studios have decided to trick audiences into watching movies that they would never buy tickets for…
Leaving many audience members feeling the whiplash.
Hollywood Movie Studios and Their Misleading Marketing
Two of the most anticipated blockbusters of the Holiday Season, Paul King’s Wonka and Samantha Jayne’s Mean Girls are set to be big box office draws.
Even with the hype surrounding these movies, some audience members are skeptical of both films.
While the two movies don’t have much in common, the studios marketed them very similarly.
WHEN WATCHING THEIR TRAILERS, THERE’S NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY.
Wonka is filled with colorful whimsy and Mean Girls bolsters that nostalgic teenage edge.
But there’s one thing that these trailers are not telling us about both films…
THESE MOVIES ARE ACTUALLY MUSICALS.
This open secret has created division amongst movie-goers. In a film ecosystem skeptical of remakes and reboots, this marketing tactic is misleading on every front.
Tension between Hollywood movie studios and audience members keeps rising. Especially considering talks about reintroducing movie intermissions in films…
And this marketing debacle is not helping.
So why are studios leaving out this crucial detail out of any promotional material? It’s plain and simple:
THEY WANT AUDIENCES TO WATCH MUSICALS BY TRICKING THEM INTO IT.
Audiences Are NOT Musically Inclined
Movie musicals have a hard time in theaters. Usually, they are either a hit or miss.
But some of the most popular movies of the last ten years have been musicals…
In 2016, La La Land earned over $470 million worldwide.
And in 2017, The Greatest Showman grossed similarly, making $430 million globally.
However, not all musicals are created equal.
MOVIE MUSICALS HAVEN’T REACHED THE SAME LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN THE POST-PANDEMIC YEARS.
In fact, the following musicals flopped and didn’t make enough to cover their budgets:
- In The Heights (2021), Budget: $55 Million, Box Office: $42 Million
- Dear Evan Hansen (2021), Budget: $28 Million, Box Office: $19 Million
- West Side Story (2021), Budget: $100 Million, Box Office: $76 Million
But, musicals do have the capacity to be profitable for Hollywood movie studios.
However, deceiving audiences into watching a musical, will only create more skeptical and jaded viewers.
Customers want to know what you’re selling before they make a purchase!
Marketing these films as something they aren’t is already creating confusion for theater-goers.
Users on X, formerly known as Twitter, are divided on the Mean Girls musical.
Fans are torn. They argue that there’s no need for a Mean Girls reboot.
Yet, only a few of them knew that the movie wasn’t a shot-for-shot remake. One of the users chimed in:
“THE CASUAL VIEWER IS GONNA BE SO SHOCKED WHEN THEY GO TO THE ‘MEAN GIRLS’ REMAKE AND ALL THE CHARACTERS START SINGING”
One thing is certain. Musical or not, viewers should know what they’re buying tickets for.
While this marketing campaign is leaving a bad taste in the mouth of audiences…
It might be the foot in the door that studios need to get viewers interested in musicals.
Are Hollywood Movie Studios in the Clear?
During Wonka’s opening weekend, the movie brought in $39 million domestically, totaling $151 million globally.
This is a fantastic start to any movie’s box office run, even more so a musical…
And the reviews are in, settling at a comfortable 90% audience rating.
The jury is still out on whether or not this marketing tactic will prove successful for the “Mean Girls” musical.
One thing is certain, however…
While Hollywood movie studios are enjoying their success so far, it should not have been due to lying to audiences to make a profit.
Wanting to reach new demographics in any business is always a goal to strive for.
But it should be because you created a good product…
Not because you sold your product as something else…
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