When Fox released "Dragonball:Evolution" in 2,000 theaters last weekend, it didn't bother with newspaper ads — or print reviewers, for that matter. The teens who were the target audience just don't read print. Patrick Goldstein parses the nuances:
While studios, many of which have remained fairly loyal to print advertising, have been running smaller movie ads in recent years, Fox has made a bolder break with tradition, releasing four movies this year alone where the studio has run minimal newspaper ads or, in the case of "Dragonball" and "Street Fighter," released in late February, no ads at all. Even "Taken," the genre thriller that opened on Super Bowl weekend and became one of the year's biggest box-office hits, only received full-sized newspaper ads in New York and Los Angeles. In a host of other cities around the country, there were no print ads at all....
According to Pam Levine, Fox's co-president of marketing , the studio hasn't given up on newspapers. It's simply making ad buys on a case-by-case basis. "We look at the audience on every movie and try to do a good job of going and finding them," she says. "We had, for example, a very strong newspaper ad presence on 'Marley & Me,' because we wanted moms -- and moms read the newspaper. We also did a massive newspaper ad buy for 'Slumdog Millionaire.'
"But when it comes to youth-oriented films or films like 'Taken,' where you can market the visual excitement of the movie, you tend to go in a different direction. You'd rather the moviegoers see the visual fun and thrills on TV or online and go tell their parents and friends about it."