Movie release

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Movie premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California, USA

A movie release (or premiere) is when a completed movie is released for the public to see. It may be in theaters or for home viewing. A movie's release date can affect how much money the movie makes.

Marketing[change | change source]

A movie's release date and how it is released is a part of the marketing of the movie.[1] Often a movie will be tested on selected audiences to see how they like it.[1] This is called a limited release. A movie might also be shown first at a film festival to see how it does. If an audience does not like something, the moviemakers can make changes before it is released to the public.[1]

Movie studios limit the number of major movies they release in a year.[2] They also try not to release a major movie at the same time another studio does.[2] The timing of when a movie is released can affect how much money it makes. When A Little Princess was released in 1995, the movie Pocahontas was released at the same time.[3] Even worse (for revenues), both were aimed at the same target audience.[3]

Movie calendar[change | change source]

There were traditional times of the year for releases of certain types of movies. Summer was the traditional time to release blockbuster movies.[4] These are large budget movies with a great deal of publicity. Spring was the usual time for art films.[4] Another major time of the year to release major movies is Christmas.[4] Lately, however, the movie calendar has become very crowded with more new releases. This means that blockbuster movies now come out all during the year.[4]

Prints and advertising[change | change source]

A print is a copy of the physical film itself. Each movie theater needs a print for showing.[5] This becomes expensive and along with advertising they are called 'P&A'.[5] Advertising can include parties for the stars of the movie.[5] It can also mean arranging interviews on talk shows and placing movie clips on video sharing websites like YouTube.[5] This is to get people talking about the movie. The period of time for advertising a movie only a few weeks before it is released. After that time it is hoped word of mouth will advertise the movie.[5]

The movie Four Weddings and a Funeral was released in the United States in 1994.[6] The distributor, Polygram, had a limited P&A budget.[6] They released the movie on a limited basis, in New York and Los Angeles. They spent heavily on advertising in these cities hoping the limited release would be a success.[6] In this case it was and they used the profits to gradually release the movie all over the country.[6] This is called a 'platform release'. It allows smaller movie studios to compete with the large P&A budgets of the big studios.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Frederick Levy, Hollywood 101: The Film Industry (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013), p. 215
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hollywood: Cultural dimensions: ideology, identity and cultural industry studies, ed. Thomas Schatz (London; New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 324
  3. 3.0 3.1 Timothy Corrigan; Patricia White, The Film Experience: An Introduction (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2012), p. 37
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Finola Kerrigan, Film Marketing (Oxford; Elsevier, 2010), p. 100
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Joseph Turow, Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication (London; New York: Routledge, 2009), p. 488
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Finola Kerrigan, Film Marketing (Oxford; Elsevier, 2010), p. 101

Other websites[change | change source]