I think it has been pretty well documented that cannot wait for The Dark Knight, which is hitting theaters next week. The film’s marketing, including a very elaborate and engaging viral campaign, ensnared me and the millions of fan boys eagerly anticipating the film’s release and has built a Bat-buzz rivaling that of 1989’s Batman.
As Dark Horizons reports, the proof is in the pre-sales.
There’s still over a week before “The Dark Knight” hits theaters.
Yet with almost all of the 1,500 midnight Thursday night showings next week sold out, theaters have been adding 3am and 6am pre-opening showtimes to meet demand.
Fandango reports that “The Dark Knight” is poised to be the year’s top advance ticket-seller in wide release and is already easily outpacing “Iron Man,” “Indiana Jones 4” and “Sex and the City” at the same point in those films’ sales cycles.
MovieTickets.com meanwhile reports that the pre-sales for the film’s tickets are already higher than such major openers as “Spider-Man 3”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and “Passion of the Christ”.
What does this mean for the future of film marketing? Do movies now require interactive campaigns months before their release to capture the minds and the wallets of moviegoers?
Big-name stars synonymous with the summer blockbuster, such as Will Smith and Tom Cruise, will always have the same box office draw that has resulted in $100 million openings. However, could those actors and actresses benefit from extensive and thought-provoking viral campaigns to compliment the release of their films? Do they need to excite their core audience, something genre movies of a primarily of a comic book nature have begun to perfect, or can they rely on their star power alone?
If the box office numbers on July 20/21 prove that viral campaigns result in record-breaking profits, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more them soon.