I've been hearing all types of interesting rumors about the marketing (or lack thereof) of THE IRON GIANT.... Everything from rumors of orders from the top deck of the studio to not invest in it's success to the marketing department not seeing the movie till three weeks to release. But I've been brushing these off as idle wonderings... Bellyaches and misgivings from those that wished the film the best. But it seems that Brad Ball, President of Ad/Pub at the WB, feels like they let the film down. Well... What to do with this critical gem that audiences loved? Well, pull A LITTLE PRINCESS with this gem. Re-release the film around the holidays with a strong advertising push across the board, heralding it as audiences last chance to see a classic on the screen. Use the amazing quotes from everyone that loves film and get behind this film. Don't drop it. Just because you guys at Warners threw a massive interception in a playoff game doesn't mean you put Elway on the bench... You put him back in... And this movie needs to be taken off the market... A careful campaign with magazines and print ads to build a following. Do a push for a Screenwriting nomination. Do a strong award season campaign. Have WARNER stores push the bejeesus out of the merchandise. BUT GET THE MOVIE BACK OUT THERE FRONT AND CENTER. Of course... That's just my opinion. Meanwhile... All you folks that haven't seen this movie... Go see it while you still can!
Just heard some interesting news on the marketing of The Iron Giant(or lack there of). Word has it that someone on the IG crew(not sure who) e-mailed Gerald M. Levin, whom I'm sure you know is CEO of Time Warner. The crew member basically said IG was a great movie, that has been probably the most critically acclaimed film of the year thus far. So how is it that a film that should be so easy to sell could have been so poorly marketed? Believe it or not Mr. Levin actually e-mailed the person back and said that he agreed that he thought the Giant was a great movie and Brad Bird is a great director and that, yes, the marketing had been botched but he would defer to Brad Ball president of Advertising and Publication. He CC'd Brad Ball and told him to address this person.
I guess that is what he did because in Screen Cartoonist's Newsletter, The Pegboard, had a bit in it today that said Brad Ball President of Ad/Pub at Warner Bros., personally called Brad Bird and apologized for failing to sell a film that is acclaimed from Roger Ebert to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, to even Howard Stern. In the article it also said that Mr. Ball said the reason they did not want to invest in the marketing was due to the Quest For Camelots failure which I can sympathize with because it was a terrible film. But, when they made the Wild Wild West were they not apprehensive on the marketing due to the failure of the Avengers? Apples and oranges! WB are you in the filmmaking business or not? Go figure it out!! So are they really taking responsibilty or is Brad Ball just fearing for his cush office and expense account?
If they have taken some responsibility, then why don't they pull the film and re-market it? Just in case anyone is intersted in giving their input on this re-marketing idea, feel free to e-mail Mr. Ball at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hell if the Disney Machine is smart they should swoop in and buy it for $30 mill(the remainder WB needs to recoup) market the hell out of it, and make a freakin' killing.
Entomologist and Red on the Head out!