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'Total Recall' debut trailer logs 10.8 million views in 48 hours

April 4, 2012 |  2:42 pm

TotalRecall
Sony Pictures' debut trailer for "Total Recall" racked up 10.8 million views online in its first 48 hours, demonstrating that a "trailer for the trailer" was effective in building hype.

Last Wednesday, Sony released a 30-second "teaser" that showed several scenes from this summer's remake of "Total Recall" starring Colin Farrell. It encouraged people to "get ready for the world trailer premiere" Sunday.

In addition to its debut on Apple's trailer website in the U.S. and other Web destinations internationally, the "Total Recall" trailer was first shown, in a slightly shorter form, on ABC during Sunday's Boston Celtics-Miami Heat game, where it was seen on TV by an additional 4.5 million people, Sony estimated.

ABC promoted the trailer debut in the lead-up to and during the game.

While not the first to employ a "trailer for a trailer" strategy, Sony received some lambasting from fans on the Internet for hyping a video that is in and of itself hype. "There's something distinctly perverse about trailers for a trailer," said a writer on the site CinemaBlend.com. "I know, I know, I'm part of the problem by rewarding this 'trailer for a trailer' phenomenon with coverage," added the site Filmonic.

But people still clicked through on the trailer in huge numbers. While 10.8 million is not a record -- the most recent "Avengers" trailer, released in late February, was seen 13.7 million times in just its first 24 hours -- it's a huge number that immediately drives widespread awareness of the movie, which is the goal for a first trailer.

In addition, on YouTube, where Sony's official version of the trailer has been seen nearly 2.8 million times, 90% of viewers gave it a "thumbs up" vote, instead of a "thumbs down."

"A trailer is one of the most influential pieces of marketing you can do for a movie, so you want to treat it like an event," said Sony marketing President Marc Weinstock. "You should launch it with every piece of promotional firepower you can."

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-- Ben Fritz

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