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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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April 12 2005

Universal Pictures moves top execs. Vice Chairmen, Mary Parent and Scott Stuber will transition into a producing agreement. Donna Langley will become the President of Production. It leaves one to wonder what effect this will have on the promotion of 'Serenity' in the next few months.

I would imagine it would have little effect, there's a timetable in place and the promotion is building up speed. I can't see it being affected by execs moving around the place. Judging by rumours and speculation on other sites, the general consensus is that the trailer will be out in two weeks time.

However speaking of Universal Pictures and Serenity, this news item at AICN caught my eye. It left me pondering.
Simon, I LIVE to see Serenity, but I hope it doens't get similarly bumped up. It needs the time to really market itself. And incidentally, where the hell is all of the marketing? Joss, when can we expect ads and merch? I want my River Tam Official Kitchen Knife tm.
Well there's a couple of official books and some action figures plus the prequel comics. The Cap't Mal burger and Jayne Happy Meal should be announced soon. Probably. I really wanted a video game as I was very impressed with the Chronicles of Riddick X-Box game (a Universal Pictures movie tie-in).

Oddly enough I've been looking at how UIP are promoting Serenity world wide. Given that the movie won't be out for months, I award the following UIP websites the "Hey I quite like the Serenity bit on your website" award.

UIP Mexico: They have a gorgeous Serenity production still on their page(which I have only see on one movie fan website) and they have a rating for the movie too.

UIP Netherlands: Wonderful fan feel to their Serenity promotion. Interestingly, they mention that Gina Torres was on 24 on their cast list. I don't know any Dutch but I'm intrigued by their description of Inara.

I've put the relevant quote in invisible text as for all I know it might be a spoiler. So if any Dutch spoiler fans care to have a look, I would love a translation.
Translation: "Rents a shuttle to be able to work as a companion. That's like a really expensive hooker, but 500 years from now they're very highly regarded."
Ok simon, according to Free here is the tranlation.

"A shuttle rents work to can as 'compagnion'. That is be looking at a whole expensive prostitute, but 500 year from now these in high."

um.....yeah, sounds about right.

Edited to Add: Crap, Caroline beat me to it.

[ edited by 400lb_Gorilla on 2005-04-12 22:28 ]
Cheers Caroline. I do like seeing the Whedonverse mentioned in other languages, it always interests me. And thanks to 400lb_Gorilla for running it through a translator. Though I can see why free is free.
What is this about the trailer? If the trailer's coming out soon, I want to plan my Whedonesque Meetup accordingly. This goes without saying, but please keep us posted. I'm eagerly awaiting any news on the subject.
I think there was word that the trailer would be on Hitchiker's Guide(which comes out in 2 weeks) first, is that still true?
I read in one of the forums at that the trailer may come out online before the it premieres in the theaters, and that it is still scheduled to be premiered w/ Hitchhikers. Of course, I don't know about the reliability of the source.
dottikin that news comes from the admin who runs the official movie site.
Simon, I think and hope you're right and there's no reason for concern. Still, I understand RavenU's comment since Joss has cited Mary Parent as the executive who's supported Serenity the most. Even if the transition was planned, it might have some effect that she's now a "lame duck."
Personally I choose to look at Serenity at the greatest opportunity we have ever had. Because this is the most simple straightforward deal possible:

studio has money already invested = now studio needs to make as much money as possible back
enough money in from cinema and DVD receipts, plus merchandising etc = Serenity is a success
enough money in = original investment (incl marketing costs) plus a tidy profit
a really really tidy profit = sequels
no Nielsens = all that counts is just plain old hard cash
we = cash
The End

Yeah, I know, art, great story, quality writing blah blah blah…

And here is another piece of good news: in March the official Serenity board had approx 22,000 members. As of today: 25,887. I said it before and I say it again: September may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Honestly, I am paranoid about ‘versal interfering with the film and messing up the vision of the One Who Can Do No Wrong, but I am zero paranoid about them not working their little socks off to get their money back and I am normally paranoid just about everything.

Sorry, must now go and check that I locked my door.

Quick question: does anyone know what the industry standard average ROI (return on investment) in the movie industry is? I’d be interested.
Just a thought on the merchandising question: Wouldn't they wait until the Star Wars phenomenon has blown through town and run it's course before they tackle a ton of merchandising? I would think that the studio is trying to seperate the two 'space' movies so that the average (dare-I-say-it?) non-Firefly/Serenity/Whedonverse fan can differentiate between the two films and their characters.

[ edited by toontimer on 2005-04-13 15:56 ]
I imagine it most likely won't do much of anything. It's pretty far down the pike for them to really be messing with anything. The studio has probably already purchased airtime to run the commercials, and I have no idea how trailers work, but I'd imagine all that is locked already as well.

Plus, they are not going to stop sending Joss and co. out to various conventions. It's cheap and it feeds directly into the fan base.

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