Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Boat That Rocked : How has the film been exhibited and distributed to reach and attract a UK audience?

The Boat That Rocked was distributed by United international pictures, a company well known for distributing films to a world-wide audience, therefore the boat that rocked was exhibited differently for the North American to British release to gain maximum reach.  In Britain it was exhibited to attract the UK audience in may ways, by manying it possible for it to viewed in most formats (multiplatform release), cinema, dvd/bluray, TV (sky), HD (sky) and online (sky).

The Boat that Rocked, I believe, has a large British target audience, older people reliving the 60’s (when it was set), to teenagers and young adults as it is humorous and contains some actors recognizable from other films targeted to them (st trinians-Gemma Arteton). So by UIP releasing it in the April half term in Britain to 400 hundred cinemas, it allowed all British audiences to be able to see it, teenagers were no longer at school (half term) and adults could go anyway- allowing the event to be shared individually, in a family or with friends.

 However it had to compete with 3 big budget blockbusters, which would appeal more greatly to the family market- a big market especially in half terms, and hence its fail in this time period.

Some titles, as with TBTR, may do better relatively in the home entertainment sector then cinemas, so the distributors had to focus hard on this to comprehend its bad cinema sales. They did this by making it easy to be viewed from home, also fun and interactive and pin pointed the releases of things such as DVD carefully, this is multiplatform release.

By releasing the DVD in Britain in September, this played a huge advantage to DVD sales, as in the colder months less people wanted to go out, more wanted to stay at home and rent/buy/watch films, so this was a popular choice, also as it’s a comedy it lightened peoples moods in the depressing darker colder months- so was a popular choice.

The music week awards held in the London Hilton was held on the same day as the Sky movies premier of the Boat That rocked, linking the theme of the film to wider events in the country (music). Allowing people to have music on their minds, so when flicking through channels and see the premier they may stop and watch.

The DVD’s and Blu ray discs come with additional content, such as deleted scenes and directors commentary, which would appeal to the older British generation who lived through it, as they could find out more about what actually happened through the directors commentary etc. This would also appeal to big fans of the film, as they will be seeing something they have yet to see from the film (deleted scenes).

New media technologies and hardware proliferation hindered the DVD sales and overseas sales of the film. Online download/uploading and streaming allowed some of the first people to buy it on DVD to post it up online, meaning that many people who want to see the film no longer have the need to pay for it and this collapses many chances of revenue..

Some issues raised by the UIP (an international company) distributing the film were that they felt the film would not appeal to the American market, which put its release date in the US back 7 months while they changed it, this meant people had time between the English release to illegally film it and post it online- where everyone internationally can reach it, and no longer feel the need to go and pay to view it.

As UIP is a major company, it is them who deal with the exhibitors who then go and prioritise Hollywood films over others, this is bad for TBTR as its release strategy would not have been so complex and this could have affected sales and hindered the attraction of the UK audience to focus more on the American audience.

Sky also have the option of viewing the film in HD, so increasing the asthetics of it, and making the viewing more enjoyable from home, encouraging more people to watch it. Also HD TV’s are becoming more popular in the UK, and as it can be viewed in HD it will be a more popular choice if wanting to watch a film  and it being the only option on the HD channel at that time.

Sky’s website is a good example of technological convergence, as you can view pictures on it, videos, reviews, post comments, look up television times all based on the Boat that Rocked, making the exhibition and distribution of the film easier for the UIP and more convenient to view for the consumer- they can get more engrossed into it and watch it from home or via laptop on a journey etc. 

Avatar: How has the film been distributed and exhibited to reach and attract the UK audience?

 Avatar has been exhibited to attract the UK audience in many different ways, by showing the film in many different places and different ways, for example general release, re-release, DVD, blu-ray, and 3D. 20th Century Fox - the distributors of Avatar - have planned everything accordingly to reach it's largest audience and target it's widest reach.

Avatar targets people of all ages, from '8-80' according to Cameron, with a core audience of teenagers and young men and women. So by Fox releasing the films - both release and re-release - during the holiday seasons, this meant that many people could watch the films, especially with friends or with families.
The fact that Fox decided to release the film within December 16th-18th meant that not only everyone could go see it during the Christmas holidays, but also that a lot of hype could be produced during these three short days all over the world. The height of the hype for the film had also been created the week before, with it's premiere in Leicester Square, London, on the 10th, (which was later followed by it's premiere in Los Angeles on the 16th.)
Fox also ensured a saturated release, with Avatar showing in 503 cinemas in the first week and 485 in the second in the UK, meaning that many people could go watch the film. And as the film was released in Decemeber, and not in May which it was originally scheduled for, this meant that these 503 cinemas could install 3D projectors. So by releasing the film later, this was mutually beneficial, as Avatar could get more viewings and box office sales, and cinemas could sell more tickets. In fact, Cineworld had said that after Avatar and other 3D movies released, box office takings went up by 14.6%.

As Avatar was released on Thursday 17th December 2009, this meant that many people could watch the film as soon as possible, in that opening weekend. The opening weekend box office sales were a massive £8,509,050, beating out films such as St. Trinians 2, A Christmas Carol and Nativity, showing that the release strategy was well done and well thought out. Even the next weekend, Avatar was still at the top of the box office, generating £5,904, 479, and beating out films such as Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2.

However, it was not only the general release of the film which helped to reach and target the audience, but the re-release too. Avatar: Special Edition again took in quite a lot of gross profit due to many people wanting to rewatch the film and experience the 8 extra minutes of Pandora, and by Fox releasing this during the end of the summer holidays, many people could do so.

New technologies such as DVD and blu-ray discs also helped to reach and target more of the audience too, with the release of the DVD itself, and special collector's editions too. With extra bonus features, different cuts of the films and documentaries, this helped to target the audience, especially large fans of the film. This is because fans of the film are keen to find out about the production and behind the scenes of the film, meaning that they will buy the DVD/blu-ray edition, meaning more reach and profits for Fox and Lightstorm. 

And due to vertical integration, the DVDs/blu-ray discs were distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, who have a large experience in when to distribute films out to the audience.

The DVD was released on April 22, 2010, coinciding with Earth Day. This was to raise awareness of environmental issues, and this in turn helped to promote and further advertise the film, as Earth Day is a positive cause which links with the film, and is something Cameron cared a lot about.

And the even newer technology of 3D TVs and 3D DVDs/Blu-Rays will also help to reach more of the target audience, when Avatar comes out in 3D DVD. This will help to reach more people as the audience enjoy watching films from the comfort of their own homes, and they can get the 3D immersive experience like in the cinemas. However, the 3D editions have not been released yet, and this is because Fox are waiting for more 3D TVs to be sold in the market, meaning more people are likely to buy the 3D DVD/Blu-Ray disc. Plus, the fact that it's still not released yet meant that people were forced to go back to the cinemas to watch the special edition if they still wanted that 3D immersive experience.

This profileration in hardware of 3D technology also meant that piracy was harder, as it's really difficult to film 3D films. However, although Avatar is 3D, it still managed to be the most downloaded film of 2010. But still, although it was downloaded illegally by many people, many people still went to watch it in the cinema as they actually wanted to experience the wonder of the specacular 3D, meaning that Avatar still remains the top grossing film ever.

Finally, technologically convereged media such as Sky Plus is now allowing us to watch the film. On Christmas Eve this year, Sky Movies and Sky 3D are going to be premiering the film on TV for the first time, in both 2D and 3D. This is again allowing for a larger reach, and the fact that it is being released on Christmas Eve means that many people will watch it - after all, Christmas is usually a time where family comes together, and many families tend to watch films together from the comfort of their own homes.

The Boat That Rocked Exhibition: Piracy Continued

During the 7 month delay on its arrival to American shores, both DVD and Blu-Ray versions of the film came out in non-American markets, ensuring that U.S. viewers would have access via the internet to copies.

In fact a cam version debuted on PIRATEBAY  soon after theatrical release in mid August- eminently available to anyone around the world with an Internet connection.

Without this, North American box office sales would have been a lot higher.

The Boat That Rocked Piracy

"Notice how several, "spam" comments, refer to websites where you can download the film free online. YouTube clips for the film are riddled with spam like this. This is one of the results of WEB 2.0 and the interactive nature of digital technology. It's a form of piracy, of course, and another example of technological convergence - something which can cut both ways for the distribution of the film - profitably and unprofitably. This is somewhat ironic given the fact that the original  pirate radio DJs on Radio Caroline didn't pay royalties to recording artists when they played their songs in the mid 1960s! The spam is aimed at young people who are "time rich and cash poor." 
Websites advertising the boat that rocked online free:

Avatar: Piracy

Although James Cameron had stated that the proliferation of hardware allowing 3D film-making is 'the film industry's best hope for combating piracy', Avatar still managed to top the illegal download chart in 2010, with 16.58 million downloads, according to TorrentFreak.com. 

The Top 10 most pirated films of 2010, according to TorrentFreak.com are:
1. Avatar - 16.58million
2. Kick-Ass - 11.4million
3. Inception - 9.7million
4. Shutter Island - 9.5million
5. Iron Man 2 - 8.8million
6. Clash Of The Titans - 8million
7. Green Zone - 7.7million
8. Sherlock Holmes - 7.16million
9. The Hurt Locker - 6.85million
10. Salt - 6.7million

However, despite the fact that Avatar was the most downloaded film of 2010, it's still the highest-grossing movie ever. This is probably due to the fact that, as Cameron stated, Avatar is a 3D film, and people enjoy the 3D immersive experience, as it provides escapism.

Because of the large hype Avatar created many people would want to try and download it illegally, and because of the advances in technological convergence, and the easily accessible downloads on the internet, the Institutions would have lost profit.So although technological and cross media converged media such as the internet help the film industry massively, especially with marketing, it does hinder the sales and the exhibition of films, as piracy is a large factor.