If you just wanted to scratch the surface of this topic, you could make a fine case pointing out lazy posters, misleading pull quotes, and irritating ads (countless "accidentally scroll over to expand this trailer, audio included because we're just that nice!" Internet banner placements).
Pro tip from an amateur - if you want consumers to buy your product, don't make them want to set fire to your advertisements.
Studios failing to market their features in a way that puts butts in seats is a plain and simple matter. The question on my mind is this: are studios sometimes failing to even reach their target audience?
Interstellar, Christopher Nolan's soon-to-be-critical and commercial smash success, is the culprit responsible for my asking this question.
I recently had a conversation with a member of the group that film studios require the least amount of effort to reel in: a young twenty-something male whose preeminent hobby is consuming, and making, movies. Our excited conversation about Interstellar and its fast-approaching release revealed that he didn't even know when the movie is premiering in theaters nationwide.
Interstellar hits the biggest of big screens on November 4th, three full days before movies are typically released.
How is it that someone whose ticket for the movie is basically purchased already doesn't even know when the movie actually comes out?
Yes, this friend of mine is just one person. And yes, I'm going to disregard sample size. I still beg the question.
I had no problem buying three tickets to an 8pm IMAX screening of Interstellar weeks after passes for the show went on sale, and merely one week before the premiere. Film majors - people like my friend, who could hold a conversation about various SFX studios for crying out lout - haven't been made aware of the release date for what might be the biggest blockbuster of 2014.
Would I have known that Interstellar premieres on Tuesday night if I wasn't one who frequents film blogs?
John Carter was made on a budget of around $250 million. Its international box office run ended at $284,000,000. Considering the franchise's history (influencing Star Wars and the like), could Disney's $100 million in advertising have been spent better?
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt starred in an allegedly pretty great sci-fi flick this summer. Domestically, the film didn't fare very well compared to its peers. Originally called All You Need Is Kill (the name of its source novel), Warner Bros. released the film in theaters as Edge of Tomorrow before apparently trying to run with Live Die Repeat on the home release. Perhaps its fate would have been different had the studio been able to settle on a single one of its many titles?
Are movie studios bad at marketing movies?