Magazine article Variety

When Concepts Are the Stars

Magazine article Variety

When Concepts Are the Stars

Article excerpt

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Tentpoles stake their starts on images that focus on big themes rather than the highly paid cast

WITH MARKETING COSTS for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers' faces early and often.

Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for World WarZ; The Lone Ranger and Elysium - and that's by design.

On early one-sheets for three of the studios' biggest bets, the stars either weren't recognizable or weren't pictured at all. Universal took a similar approach with Tom Cruise starrer Oblivion.

The idea is to sell a film initially based on a concept, says Par domestic marketing and distrib prexy Megan Colligan.

"That indelible first-look image is important to establish a certain tone," she says. …

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