Thursday, July 30, 2015

WARP, CONVERGENCE This is England 90 on C4, Guardian exclusive trailer

Despite the down at heel, working class focus of the franchise, interesting to see Warp linking up not with a tabloid but rather the broadsheet Guardian, with its ABC1 readership.
Click on 'read more' for article link and to see the trailer

Friday, July 24, 2015

Russia $500m studio fund seeks to challenge Hollywood

British and American media are largely hostile to or dismissive of Russia, keeping the Cold War antagonism very much alive. We don't hear so much about the film-making from a country that has provided major elements of the media language of film.

Challenging the Hollywood hegemony is a colossal task, and I doubt $500m will go far ... perhaps of equal significance is the talk of setting limits on the amount of non-Russian film in Russian cinemas. America has invaded small nations in the past for such quota systems, seeing Hollywood as key to soft power globally.

In Russia's pseudo democracy (you can judge whether the UK or US polities are much healthier), its not surprising that the interests of the state are so explicitly linked to this new lush, which came about after Putin asked for private finance to build up Russia's film industry:

The Russian state has become increasingly interested in the film industry in recent years. In 2014, the culture minister called for a cap on foreign movies, and in March his ministry released a list of movie themes which it would support. These included family values, military glory and “Crimea and Ukraine in the 1,000 year history of the Russian state”. It’s also a big business – Stalingrad, a war film, earned over $50m worldwide last year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ASA, MARKETING Fox's Poltergeist clown poster cleared

We naturally focus on the BBFC or equivalents such as the MPAA when considering regulation of film. Here's a good reminder that the film business is part regulated by the likes of the ASA too.

This is also an intriguing case as it marks an exception to the prevailing regulatory presumption that media content considered, generally without evidence, harmful to children, should face restrictions on distribution and exhibition.

A Scary clown in a film poster attracted multiple complaints, but the distress caused to some with a fear of clowns (coulrophobia) was not enough to justify banning the poster from public sites.

Poltergeist posters cleared despite more than 70 complaints over clown image

UK BOX OFFICE Universal breaking records in 2015

After a torrid 2014 in which it failed to have any of the year's top ten hits (managing only the 11th biggest take), Universal is breaking several records in 2015.

The article also contains useful analysis about which parts of the week are most couple oriented and which are key for female-targeted movies...

Universal claims UK box-office record as Amy Winehouse doc stuns in week two

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


A placeholder post for now, added to a growing list of I'll come back to this... Until Avatar 2 hits, a more up to date case study of a tentpole to supplement the Working Title/Warp Films focus would be useful, and the Star Wars juggernut is perfect for this, an ongoing narrative of globalised hegemony, marketing muscle and dense distribution, with note perfect audience 'interaction'. NB: The linked article quotes Kevin Smith, so naturally enough features strong language!

Sith happens: Kevin Smith makes light of Comic-Con's space issues

Saturday, July 11, 2015

FRANCHISE Star Wars another Disney universe of extended narrative

I've blogged in some detail on the highly converged 'Marvel universe', with characters criss-crossing cinema, TV, games and an even wider world of UGC.

Another Disney acquisition demonstrating the importance of good production practices as much as distribution might and marketing nous is the Star Wars franchise that creator George Lucas threatened to run aground with the weak prequels and CGI messing with the original trilogy.

I don't think there's ANY franchise to rival the excitement this one generates, and its a near certainty that the box office charts will be headed by not just the new trilogy but the additional spin-offs, such as the story of Hans Solo, and the raid that got the Death Star plans before that climactic Skywalker shot.

Even the awful prequel trilogy racked up $2.5bn. It would be little  surprise for the first new movie to equal that alone - this is a movie many fans will pay to see repeatedly.

Star Wars: the marketing force awakens

Friday, July 10, 2015

Thursday, July 02, 2015

GENRE Is the rom-com love affair over?

The article covers many points
- the lack of a genuine Brit star to succeed Grant, with possible contenders shunning the genre
- the UK industry once more operating as a mini-Hollywood, churning out multiple genres and franchises
- the rise of alternatives to the all-powerful Working Title, including a specific mention of Warp

And more...

What especially caught my eye: having noted that even the rom-com king's return to the fray saw Richard Curtis post fairly modest box office ... put into further context by the extraordinary killer stat that the last $100m+ rom-com was in 2011!!!!

That was a Jennifer Aniston vehicle, an actress ironically central to the narrative of the genre's box office decline!

Not love actually: why Britons ended their affair with the romcom