What 'Tron' and 'Glee' Have in Common

More

"We're going to show you five minutes of the movie every year for 20 years," comedian Patton Oswalt joked as he introduced the most recent trailer for Disney's upcoming release Tron: Legacy at last week's Comic-Con in San Diego. It was the film's third consecutive promotional appearance at the annual convention, an unprecedented amount of shilling for one movie.

Tron's extended marketing campaign (the film won't hit theaters until Dec. 17) mirrors—and hopes to be as successful as—Glee's promotional experiment last year. Fox began teasing Glee over a year before its official premiere, a strategy that led to the show becoming the year's highest-rated new comedy. The New York Times examines what all this means for the future of the Hollywood hard sell:

The selling and selling (and selling) of "Tron: Legacy" is the Hollywood marketing machine in its highest gear yet. Marketing campaigns for what the industry calls "tent-pole" movies -- big budget, big risk, big potential payoff -- have traditionally started about a year before their release in theaters. Increasingly, that is scarcely enough time.

With DVRs undermining the No. 1 tool for promoting movies -- television commercials -- studios are trying to create Internet brush fires on behalf of their coming releases. One variant is a controlled burn: carefully doling out bits of information over months and years.

Lead time also makes a big difference when it comes to breaking through the advertising clutter and competing entertainment options. In a post-"Avatar" world, the goal at the multiplex is to make movies feel like must-attend events; longer campaigns can help achieve that.



Read the full story at The New York Times.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In