Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

How Hollywood Is Successfully Tapping Into Faith-Based Audiences

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hollywood, sometimes considered the last place to find anything divine, has seen the light lately, releasing a flood of faith-infused entertainment that includes TriStar's Heaven Is for Real, Focus Features' The Young Messiah and a live musical version of The Passion on Fox (which aired on Sunday, March 20). And just in time for Easter, the uplifting family drama, Miracles From Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, is expected to hold its own against the big-budget dystopian thriller The Divergent Series: Allegiant. "Hollywood is churning out faith content with a pace and frequency that has not been seen in a generation," said Chris Stone, founder of advocacy and marketing group Faith Driven Consumer. "There's been a real effort to improve the quality, and we've gone from $2 million movies to $20 million movies aimed at the faith crowd." Among the recent hits: Sony's resurrection story Risen has pulled in a respectable $32 million since its February release, and last fall's paean to prayer, War Room, nearly dethroned Straight Outta Compton for the top box office spot, opening at $11 million on one-third as many screens as the N.W.A. biopic. It eventually made $67 million. God's Not Dead 2, a sequel to the $60 million-grossing original about religious freedom, launches April 1. One of the most anticipated films of the year, Paramount and MGM's remake of the iconic swords-and-sandals epic Ben-Hur premieres in August, the same weekend that Lionsgate opens The Shack, based on a best-selling Christian novel. Marketing for values-centric projects, often aimed squarely at the country's churchgoers, has added sophisticated microtargeting and extensive social media to its arsenal, going "direct to pew" to tap into a traditionally underserved audience, Stone said. Grassroots tactics still lead the way, with studios and for-hire Christian outreach firms setting up church screenings and group ticket sales, gathering pastors and Bible study groups for early endorsements and producing educational and sermon-ready materials. In essence, everyone's using the playbook written during the massive on-the-ground campaign a decade ago for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, the most successful faith-based film in history. That approach is often still effective, but there are digital-age updates

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A Year After Rebranding as Pop, the Old TV Guide Network Has Added Almost 100 New Advertisers

March 21, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A year after rising from the ashes of the TV Guide Network, Pop is still making noise with viewers and advertisers—and the network is entering this year's upfront with a lot of confidence for a network that just turned 1. As Michael DuPont, evp of ad sales, and his team hold upfront meetings—this year's theme is "Shift to Pop"—with clients, agencies and media planners around the country, Pop has announced a new slate of shows that represent 400 hours of original programming. TV Guide Network relaunched as Pop in January 2015 , with the new network targeting "modern grown-ups" who are pop culture enthusiasts. While last year's upfront, which took place shortly after the rebrand, featured "a lot of showmanship," said Pop president Brad Schwartz, this year, "There's no more selling any hype. We get to go into this upfront confident that what we built is working." While ratings have been down across the industry, Pop—and TVGN before it—has experienced nine consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. In Q4 of 2015, its "core sales demo" of women 25-54 was up 30 percent in total day viewers and 27 percent in prime time versus the previous year. In the 18-49 demo during the same quarter, Pop was up 27 percent in total day and 15 percent in prime time. Its main competitors, including Lifetime, Oxygen and Bravo, were down or flat in those demos during that same timeframe, said Schwartz

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China’s Huayi and Tencent Prepare Vehicle for Deals in Hollywood, Korea

March 11, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Notwithstanding a director in jail, new vehicle for Huayi and Tencent is on the lookout for acquisitions in Hollywood and Korea.

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After Spoofing SI’s Swimsuit Issue, FX’s Archer Wants You To Turn Off Your Cell Phones in Theaters

March 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

FX has been making a lot of noise with its marketing campaign for Archer's upcoming Season 7, which has already spoofed the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and recreated Magnum P.I.'s opening credits. But now, the network's marketing team is quieting things down for the next phase of its Archer campaign: a new PSA urging movie theaters to silence their cell phones. The spot, which will begin airing Friday in Spotlight Cinema Networks' 200 arthouse venues nationwide, features Archer and Lana, the stars of FX's hit animated comedy. It will run for three weeks, until Thursday, March 31, the day of Archer's Season 7 premiere. This is the third time that Archer's production team, Floyd County Productions, has created a "turn off your cell phone" PSA for Spotlight. "We've done different sequences each year. We change it up and have a whole new setting," said Lance Reiss, svp of marketing for FX. The previous spots were both gold winners in the PromaxBDA Awards' "Promos at the Movies" category, in 2015 and 2013. Last month, the network partnered with Sports Illustrated to feature faux swimsuit shots of its female characters in the swimsuit issue and "The Girls of Archer" branded content online. Because Archer is animated, most of the marketing requires close collaboration between Reiss' team and the show's executive producers, Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, who need to incorporate any marketing-related animation into the show's production schedule. "Yes, they are extremely busy making a show, but the great thing is I think they're marketers at heart too, because they really respond when we come to them," said Reiss. For example, Reed and Thompson came up with one of the first components of this year's campaign: the shot-for-shot remake of Magnum P.I.'s opening credits, featuring the Archer cast, which FX posted in early February to tease season 7, which finds the former spies moving to L.A. to work as private investigators. "So that's part of a collaboration of, they have an idea, can we make it part of our marketing campaign, or we have an idea for our marketing campaign, can they help us out with it? That's where it's really become such a dynamic collaboration between the network and the animation studio," said Reiss. "We help motivate each other, and in the end, I think it benefits the show and keeps the show fresh." And there's more to come, said Reiss. "We capitalized on the SI swimsuit issue, but there are other key themes and events that are going on in the marketplace—political buzz, spring break—so we decided to take our Archer-esque shot at those as well," he said. To capitalize on the country's fascination/revulsion with Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, FX is partnering with Uproxx on a feature—"Who Said It Best: Trump or Archer?"—which will run next week. "It's very timely, and it's perfect in tone with the show, as well as capitalizing on what's happening around us in society," said Reiss, who previously worked with Uproxx last year on branded content featuring "hacked" naked photos from the phone of Archer character Pam Poovey . The network has partnered with the website Total Frat Move to feature a photo submission contest centered around spring break, and Pam Poovey's 10 tips for spring break

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While Most Nets Are Afraid to Cancel New Shows, CBS Just Pulled Angel From Hell

February 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a season where broadcast networks are hesitant to cut bait on their lower-rated shows, CBS is standing apart from the crowd. Late Monday, just hours after celebrating its 111.9 million audience for Super Bowl 50 , the network pulled Angel From Hell from its schedule, after just five episodes had aired. A Big Bang Theory repeat will take its place this week, while 2 Broke Girls takes over the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time slot beginning Feb. 18. While CBS stressed that the show hasn't been canceled, it's a clear case of semantics, as the show won't be back unless CBS decides to burn off the remaining episodes in late spring or summer. Even star Jane Lynch knows the show is over, as she tweeted last night .

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Japan’s Annual Box Office Climbs By 4% in 2015

January 26, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Japanese box office was up in 2015 in admissions, local currency and dollar terms. Most of the gain went to Hollywood as local market share slipped.

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Netflix’s Content Chief Just Perfectly Summarized How the TV Industry’s Been Broken Since Birth

January 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix execs had a lot to say at the streaming giant's CES keynote today, but amid all the flashy trailers and big global news, one compelling tidbit was largely overlooked. CEO Reed Hastings was clearly the star of the show, where he announced Netflix's sudden surge into more than 130 new countries today. But also on stage was chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who talked not only about Netflix's popular programming but also about the company's role as a consumer advocate of sorts. Here's how Sarandos beautifully summarized the profits-first, viewers-second mentality that has frequently driven decision making in Hollywood and across the entertainment and broadcast industries: "Over the last 70 years, consumers have been at the mercy of others when it comes to television. The shows and movies they want to watch are subject to business models that they do not understand and they do not care about. All they know is frustration

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T.J. Miller Warms Up for Critics’ Choice Awards Hosting Gig With Booze-Soaked Promos

January 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Actor and comedian T.J. Miller was "dumb, and not in a funny way," in the big-screen flop Yogi Bear in 3D. And he's game for trotting out the memory of that critical drubbing if it means driving viewers to a presumably better use of their time—his hosting gig at the 21st annual Critics' Choice Awards. The show, airing live Jan. 17 on A&E, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, launches the year's award-season broadcasts, so expect a steady stream of Hollywood backslapping to follow. And Miller, currently hot for his role on HBO's biting satire Silicon Valley, shows off his self-deprecating loveable loser persona in several promos from L.A.-based Stun Creative. He's hapless but in a funny way. (He wore cut-off tux pants under that sophisticated black tie, execs at Stun say, and destroyed about 50 champagne glasses in his attempt to serve a cocktail). For those interested in the awards themselves, which combine movies and television for the first time into one three-hour self-congratulatory extravaganza, the year's most nominated film is Mad Max: Fury Road, and on the TV and streaming side, FX's Fargo and Amazon's Transparent lead the pack.

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China Box Office Growth at 49% as Total Hits $6.78 Billion

January 1, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Even in a year dominated by local Chinese films, and depressed by currency moves, Hollywood enjoyed 20% growth in China

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Q&A: Downton Abbey’s Executive Producer on the Final Season and the Odds of a Movie

December 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Downton Abbey returns next month, the top-rated PBS drama of all time and U.S. television's most successful British import will cap its extraordinary run with a much buzzed about sixth and final season. Adweek caught up with Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame, who offers a few (cryptic) hints about what viewers can expect from the show's farewell season. Adweek: How receptive were television executives when you first pitched the show? Gareth Neame: A British producer once told me no one in Hollywood would be interested in the show when I was trying to finance it. I was told nobody in the United States will ever be interested in this idea.

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