I think execs over at Sony kind of screwed themselves by spending months acting like it would be impossible to get tickets to This Is It, the Michael Jackson concert flick. They were trying to create buzz, but it seems like fans really believed them, and didn’t even bother trying. The film brought in just $20.7 million over the Halloween weekend, much less than Sony expected. They’ve realized their mistake, and now they’re trying to make it clear to audiences that they can, in fact, get tickets — and that the flick will be airing in theaters for longer than the originally stated two weeks. It’ll be in theaters up through Thanksgiving — and probably longer, if you want my guess. Says the studio in a press release:
In just 5 days, Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT has become the highest grossing concert film of all time and we are elated by the response to this special film by fans, critics and moviegoers from all over the world. With this kind of global response, it’s clear that the motion picture deserves an extended run and we are going to do everything we can to make the film available to everyone who wants to see Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT on the big screen.
It’s interesting to look at this from a marketing perspective. Obviously the goal was to drum up crazy buzz for the film by treating it like a very exclusive engagement. It doesn’t necessarily sound like a bad idea — and it’s a marketing strategy that’s worked many times before — but in this case it just totally backfired. Why? Thoughts?