Discussion The Hobbit Trilogy and Episode VII, a Model for Fanbase Management

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Jackson's long-range marketing outreach to the vast LOTR fanbase for his Hobbit trilogy is a great case study for how Disney should work to control and manage the fan expectations for Episode VII and build hype ahead of its release.

    Jackson's Facebook page and his production diaries for The Hobbit, his recently published iPad app are just some of the amazing efforts undertaken to create a vast and deep pool of goodwill ahead of the movies. Even if Jackson doesn't write or direct the next Star Wars trilogy, I'd strongly urge Disney to consult with Jackson and his marketing team about pulling fans along for the ride throughout the pre-production and production of the next Star Wars movie, or barring that, steal liberally and extensively from the Jackson marketing playbook. Jackson is better at this than Lucas was, and it's not clear that Lucasfilm can do any better with the early and long-range marketing without Lucas directing the process.

    For all the people who claim that John Carter foundered over marketing, that should not give Star Wars fans hope that Disney will get this critical early marketing stage right or negotiate the marketing through the release date with the level of skill that Jackson has shown.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Nov 5, 2012
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  2. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Malleus Maleficarum

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 8
    Taking 12 hours to tell a 2 hour story would also add to our enjoyment.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Jackson has convinced 99% of his fanbase that 9 hours of Hobbit are exactly what they want. And thanks to his carefully thought out advanced marketing to them, they will now be his unpaid disciples, out convincing everyone else that they want to see those three movies too. By the time this is all over, the Hobbit may be a $4 billion movie trilogy, its only competition will be Marvel's Avengers and James Cameron.

    Meanwhile, if Disney isn't careful with their marketing they'll be lucky to make Star Wars movies that perform as well as "Attack of the Clones."

    I'd start this whole process off with a 3D re-release of Star Wars. Forget the rest of the prequels. They won't make dime one in theatrical re-release. I'd also dispense with any effort to re-release any of the other OT films in 3D. Star Wars (ANH) is the one true iconic, generational, pop culture phenomenon; the rest of the sequels/prequels are just a distraction.

    Disney needs to attach its sequel trilogy marketing directly to the coattails of ANH and forget all the pseudo successes of the rest of it. It's what Peter Jackson would do.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Nov 5, 2012
  4. yodasbum Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2004
    star 2
    Maybe it's time for some positivity. Only one of the much better received Lord of the Rings films scored box office ahead of Phantom Menace and as many people watched Avatar at the cinema as Sith. Dark Knight- quality trilogy- increasing gross for each film. Lord of the Ring quality trilogy - rising gross. Star Wars prequels disputed quality- gross all over the place.

    If Star Wars VII (in 3D) is regarded as well as Jedi, Empire or A New Hope it it will totally slay all competition like Darth Vader at a Youngling convention.

    A 4 out of 5 or higher quality episode VII does $3 billion and rising keep that up for the trilogy and it'll do close to $10 billion. I think we'll get a 3.5 out of 5 and it'll do $2.2 billion and $6 billion across the trilogy.

    If Lucasfilm do this half right Disney win. If Lucasfilm do this right then Disney will get something that will leave all other property's looking like short change. I don't know any adults who have an Avatar collection or many Lord of the Rings collection. But I know lads of adults buying Star Wars Figures for themselves even now!

    All Disney/Lucasfilm need to worry about is making the best Star Wars film and we'll take care of the rest. As yardstick I haven't seen much about Hobbit/Avatar 2/Avengers 2 in the newspapers but Star Wars is already over the media like a bad rash. It was even in OK! Magazine!!!!!
    Last edited by yodasbum, Nov 5, 2012
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  5. GeneralCeel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    You must be a Sith...
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't see any scenario in which a new Star Wars film comes remotely close to even the unadjusted global gross of Avatar. But really my point is the pre-release marketing that should be starting now. Peter Jackson had a very deliberate 3-year marketing plan in place to build hype for his Hobbit movies. And I think it was in part the success of that effort that gave him the courage to convert his production into a trilogy. I cannot remember another instance in the history of film marketing where the fanbase has been brought along for a film's production as expertly as Jackson has managed his LOTR fanbase. True, he had a tremendous amount of goodwill built up due to the unmitigated success of the LOTR trilogy, whereas the prequels saw an unprecedented erosion of the Star Wars fanbase.

    But there's a chance here to reboot Star Wars fandom. As said, I'd start by pushing up the 3D re-release of Star Wars (ANH) and abandon efforts to re-release any of the other SW movies theatrically. That will only invite unwelcome comparisons and fan discontent. ANH remains the key to the value of the Star Wars brand. That is the foundation for marketing a new trilogy. Just pretend the prequels never happened, and Disney will have a shot at building epic levels of positive hype for its new Star Wars films.

    Don't reboot Star Wars: reboot Star Wars fandom. Develop a marketing strategy that virtually unmakes the prequels by burying them in silence.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Nov 5, 2012
  7. The-Eternal-Hero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I think Kennedy & Co. should do everything in their power to make the traditional fans happy. Go all the way.

    I just can't stand the negativity of SW fandom anymore. Give 'em the OT restored to their original state, give 'em virtual remakes of the OT, send 'em Valentines every day. It's time to shift the focus away from the controversial and have the big party that never happened in '99.
  8. ezekiel22x Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    The OT is the hope of the Earth! Just like America!
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Star Wars (ANH) is the second most popular movie of all time, and the most popular movie of the baby boomer generation and gen X, by a landslide. If you don't base your marketing (and your new movies) on that core tenet, you are heading in the wrong direction.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Nov 5, 2012
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  10. darthgator1217 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 3
    Considering that the SW blu rays are the best aelling disks in the format (I think this is the case), SW is doing just fine.

    Excessive marketing can cut both ways, of course.
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  11. Beaker416 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2004
    I don't disagree with the premise that Peter Jackson does a great job marketing his movies and is effective in making you feel like you're going along for the ride with him as he's making the film. I don't think you'd necessarily need to enlist Peter Jackson to help out with Marketing to learn from what he's done successfully on the marketing front.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Agreed, but making fans feel like they're part of the process without pandering shamelessly to them on the one hand, or caving in to their silly demands on the other, is a difficult path to follow. I'm not even sure the Hobbit marketing model will work for Star Wars to be honest. With the Hobbit, very little about the story is hidden from view. It's not risky to show people what they already know for sure they're going to see anyway.
  13. DarthBrian Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2002
    star 4
    He hasn't convinced me. I'm still not sure how he's squeezing 9 hours of Hobbit out of that book. I'm worried that...
    Show Spoiler
    he's gonna spend that last half hour of the movie showing Bilbo buying all his stuff back from the Sacksville-Bagginses.


    Regardless, I do like how he's communicating. I just wish it wasn't through Facebook. Facebook sucks and is a pox on our society.
    Last edited by DarthBrian, Nov 6, 2012
  14. SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I'm not keen on moving forward the re-release of ANH, I say leave it until the 40th Anniversary in 2017.

    Jackson's marketing for The Hobbit has been very good, but no doubt it was helped by the LOTR trilogy which was very epic and hugely successful. Its reputation is such that any related movie with any related characters will generate its own hype pretty well.
    The SW Prequels aren't as acclaimed, many have been stung by them and so I don't think hype for Episode VII will be big until we know a lot more about it or even see a teaser trailer. And it has to have decent reviews.
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Nov 6, 2012
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  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Are you suggesting that the marketing has to be good AND the movie has to be good for Star Wars sequels to succeed? I'd say if the movies are good, the marketing can be every bit as bad as people insist the John Carter movie marketing was, and people will still line up to see it. The Star Wars brand has taken some hits, but Disney still paid $4 billion for it.
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  16. SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Word of mouth will build if the new movie is good and then people will go and see it, but to be a hit from the start it might now need more than the Star Wars name to be a hit. Look at how TPM affected AOTC's Box Office takings despite it being largely a superior movie. Even ROTS couldn't match it, the spectre of TPM kept people away and bad reviews stopped them from taking a chance the other prequels would be better.

    Star Wars will get huge media following, as it already has. I doubt there will be a week go by without something being posted about it, that alone will boost interest. But to be a huge sensation the likes of which we saw with Avatar or Avengers it will need to be favourably reviewed I think
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Nov 6, 2012
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  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The media, the public and the industry itself will want reassurances that the right people have been chosen to write and direct the next Star Wars movie. If Disney can build publicizing those choices into the early marketing for the movie, then I think they can start generating positive buzz early.
  18. Echo-07 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    Honestly, I don't think Disney needs to market or hype this movie. It's Nov of 2012. The movie is tentaively scheduled for July of 2015 and the hype has already begun.

    Really, what does Disney need to do?
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  19. The-Eternal-Hero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    You need a Riot Squad to manage this fanbase.
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