Stick to fundamentals
Twilight was far more profitable than Inception for two reasons. First, it cost less than half as much to make – $60m production budget versus $160m (marketing budgets are probably comparable).
Second, Twilight made the majority of its money in the first two weeks whereas Inception had a series of 30% drops week-to-week (a 40-50% drop per week is about average). The box office split changes over time – the opening weekend strongly favours the distributor, while week four and onwards favour the theatre operator. While Inception may have a higher total gross, Twilight’s studio took a much larger slice.
Despite that quibble, Mark’s point that sticking to the fundamentals is still accurate. Inception grossed almost ten times the total of The Last Airbender in the UK, with the latter film relying heavily on the expensive 3D theatre expansion. It also grossed more than ten times the worldwide total of Scott Pilgrim, which had a heavy social media campaign to make it the top trending Twitter topic for two weeks on opening.
Inception strengthened Warner Brothers’ reputation of delivering hits for investors, reinforced the message that WB understands film audiences, gathered valuable repeat visit metrics, and consolidated director Christopher Nolan’s brand of “Smart Action” for the upcoming Superman development. All without gimmicky campaigns or new channel investment.
So, the next logical step for Gillette would be… pets. The same brand, the same product, the same customer, just different consumer. Can you imagine synergies between Gillette and Pedigree? Gillette. The Best a Dog Can Get.
Mark Ritson’s latest column argued for encouraging greater use of a product rather than launching new products and used the films Twilight and Inception as examples. Find the column at www.marketingweek.co.uk/Markritsontwilight