Relativity joins three other studios advertising on Super Bowl
Relativity Media will buy a commercial spot during the Super Bowl to advertise its military action film "Act of Valor," joining three of Hollywood's six major studios in buying costly promotional time during the most popular sporting event of the year.
Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures will also buy Super Bowl ad spots, knowledgeable people not authorized to speak publicly confirmed. Those studios have yet to announce the movies they will market during the game.
Likely candidates include their big-budget event films, including Disney's "John Carter," Paramount's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and Universal's "Battleship."
20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. are not participating. The latter two studios didn't buy ad time during the Super Bowl last year either. Fox did, although the game aired on its sibling television network. This year the game will be broadcast on NBC, which is part of the same media conglomerate as Universal.
Super Bowl commercials cost an estimated $4 million per 30-second spot this year.
That marks a big commitment for a small studio like Relativity, which has never had a movie gross more than $100 million at the domestic box office. (Its biggest hit, October's "Immortals," collected $83 million.) But the Feb. 24 release "Act of Valor," which features real Navy SEALs, is targeted at the same action-loving male audience that will likely be watching the Super Bowl in droves.
The spot will air during the fourth quarter of the game, along with two other "Act of Valor" commercials during pregame coverage and one in postgame.
Last year, Relativity bought a Super Bowl commercial for its March 2011 thriller "Limitless," which went on to collect a solid $79 million at the box office.
The only other independent studio with a big-budget movie coming up by summer is Lionsgate, which will not be buying a Super Bowl spot to promote its young-female-targeted "The Hunger Games."
— Ben Fritz
Photo: A scene from "Act of Valor." Credit: Relativity Media.