Wednesday, 15 December 2010

How has the film been exhibited to attract the UK audience? - TBTR

TBTR was released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Universal Home Entertainment who own Working Title. This is an example of vertical integration which means that they have the technology to exhibit the film to their audience. In this case it would be the ability to provide them with the blu-ray option.

In the UK the film was 19 minutes longer than in the US at 135 minutes. This is due to the film's social and historical british background. Therefore the UK target audience are more likely to understand the context of the film, hence the film length is longer. However, it has been criticised in both the UK and America for being too long.

US Blu-ray cover
UK Blu-ray cover

The film was released in the April half term which allowed it to target its secondary market of young adults/teenagers because of the convenient timing. However it maybe was not the smartest of release dates in the cinema because it had to compete for attention with major releases such as Fast and Furious and 17 Again.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

How has the film been exhibited to attract the UK audience? - AVATAR

There are 449 3D capable digital screens in the UK and in 2009 Avatar was screened on every single one. It was screened on all 642 digital screens in the UK as of 2009. This is an example of how Avatar has used recent developments in technology to its advantage when exhibiting it to audiences in the UK. It has meant that audience experiences are much more immersive and it increases their expectations of what 3D is.

Inside IMAX Cinema, London
Avatar targeted audiences by its revolutionary 3D features. Up until this point 3D had not been of high standards and it was not necessarily the 'must do' part of the cinema experience. Therefore, James Cameron and co. have used technological convergence to exceed the previous standards, by making the content much more interactive and immersive. This helped in targeting the audience as it is a convenient and simple way for audiences to consume the film.

They also aim to hook audiences with staggered DVD release dates. This builds up the must own atmosphere around the film. But not only were the dates staggered but there are three different dvd releases.

  1. 2D version, no extras included, released on Earth Day
  2. 2D version, 'Ultimate Edition', with extras (deleted scenes, etc.)
  3. 3D version

Avatar in 3D vision

The aim of the three different release dates is to keep audiences interested in the brand and to urge them to build brand loyalty.

Not only has it been revolutionary for audiences, but it has helped the film industry in combatting the problem of piracy. Due to the proliferation of hardware and content, it has meant that it is much easier for audiences to pirate films and this has cost the british film industry. However, as the 3D incorporated in Avatar is newly developed, there are few people with the knowledge to pirate the film.

The 4 different DVD covers

Avatar was franchised by 20th Century Fox and they were in charge of production, distribution and exhibition. Their company exhibited the film on DVD in the UK. This helps with the exhibition process because it is a form of vertical integration which allows them to use their back catalogue of experience and expertise in other areas to draw audiences in and gain more revenue.

Limited Edition Blu Ray release

The exhibition of Avatar worked in close synergy with the marketing campaign because it was made to be the event film at all the cinemas no matter what location. Even though the target audience for the film is mainly young adult males, the film has been shown across the nation in all locations because the makers can draw on different aspects to appeal to a wide spread of demographics, such as families and women.

Comparison between AVATAR and TBTR

Compared to The Boat That Rocked (TBTR), Avatar was exhibited in a much wider and grander scale, as its budget allowed it to become much more appealing to the UK audience than TBTR. This was due to a number of things, for example, Avatar was the film that paved the way for 3D technology to become more popular and commonplace in film. It was exhibited in cinemas in both regular HD and several 3D formats such as Real D 3D, Dolby 3D, XpandD 3D, MasterImage 3D and IMAX 3D. In addition, in a few select cinemas, it was exhibited with 4D technology, where the screen contained things such as fans, water jets and shaking seats in order to make the experience even more immersive. In contrast, TBTR was only shown in regular HD, which made the exhibition duller and meant that it was up to the marketing campaign and the quality of the film to make the film appeal to audiences.

However, although TBTR's exhibition was somewhat lacking, the fact that the production company, Working Title Films, is owned by the distribution company Universal means that the exhibited film would be watched by the target audience as intended due to the synergy between the different sections of the main company. This vertical integration was also evident within 20th Century Fox, the company that produced Avatar. The DVD for Avatar was released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and as part of a parent company, it meant that the exhibited DVD/Bluray could be better advertised and subsequently made to appeal to the UK audience.

Both Avatar and TBTR were released on DVD and Blu-ray, however, Avatar was also released as a 3D film. The technology for showing 3D films isn't readily available to the general public, which means that anyone who wanted to watch the 3D version of Avatar was forced to watch it in the cinema. The lack of technology also prevents the film being pirated, as it is pointless to download a film you cannot watch. Both films have a sort of piracy prevention, as they were released on Blu-ray which cannot be copied at the moment, however, the DVD version can still be pirated, which gives Avatar an advantage in cinema exhibition.

Avatar premiered in London on the 10th of December 09 and released worldwide from the 16th-18th. However, it was initially set for a release on May 22nd the same year, but was subsequently pushed back to allow for more post production time and for more cinemas to install brand new 3D projectors. This would have allowed for more British cinemas to install the technology and thus allow more people to have the immersive 3D experience. The film had also been marketed as an 'event' film, the must-see film of the year, which meant that there was almost no competition in cinemas over which film to watch, almost everyone watched Avatar. On the other hand, TBTR did not have such a marketing campaign, which meant that when it was released to cinemas on April Fool's Day, it had to compete with films such as "Monsters Vs. Aliens", "Fast and Furious" and "17 Again". As a large percentage of the potential audience for TBTR was of the younger generation, it meant that they would be more attracted to the family film (MVA), high octane action (F&F) or the more girl orientated film (17A). As a result, TBTR bombed and was a commercial failure, which cannot be said for Avatar, which became one of the highest grossing film of all time, in total over $2bn revenue.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Initial Question Answers

  • Genre - Action/Adventure, Fantasy
  • When was it released? - December 18, 2009 (USA)
  • Where was it released? - USA, Globally
  • Who made it? - James Cameron
  • Who distributed it? - 20th Century Fox
  • Who is the target audience?
  • How was it made?
  • Genre - Comedy Drama
  • When was it released? - April 1, 2009 (UK), November 13, 2009 (USA)
  • Where was it released? - United Kingdom, Germany, United States, France
  • Who made it? - Richard Curtis (Working Title)
  • Who distributed it? - Universal Pictures
  • Who is the target audience?
  • How was it made?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Avatar Exhibition Answer Brainstorm

How has the film been exhibited to attract the UK audience?

Ownership - exhibited on DVD by: 20th Century Fox Home entertainment (UK DVD and Blu-Ray) - Vertical Integration as it was franchised by 20th Century Fox

Technological Convergence - Blu Ray DVD release, 3D Bravia TVs,

Cross media convergence and synergy - Marketing campaign helped to create the sense of an event film, making it the main screening at the cinemas

Proliferation of hardware and content - Combats piracy due to the new 3D technology which isn't very available at the moment.

Audience Consumption - Immersive experience (3D and 4D), Changing expectations of what 3D should be like

Targeting Audiences - Staggered Cinema and DVD release dates

The Boat That Rocked Exhibition Research

  • Released as TBTR in UK, Germany and France, but rebranded "Pirate Radio" in the US
  • 135 minutes long in UK, 116 minutes in US
  • Released 1st April 2009 in UK, 13th November in US
  • British box office - £6.1 million in first 12 weeks
  • American Box office - <$3 million in first weekend

Avatar Exhibition Research

3 Different DVD Releases:
  1. 2D, no extras (deleted scenes, etc.) released on Earth Day
  2. Ultimate Edition with included extras
  3. 3D DVD
NB: Extended Collector's Edition (three different versions of the film)

IMAX Release - "still aren't enough digital 3D screens around to give Avatar the platform Cameron and Fox want
Development of 3D - "main driver for the adoption of digital cinema systems in movie theatres"

Technological Convergence, Audience consumption and Recent technologies
Released in cinema as 2D, RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, IMAX 3D and 4D

Recent technologies and proliferation of hardware and content
Fights piracy due to the revolutionary 3D technology that no-one else can get their hands on at the time.