‘Hood’ Steals Pots Of Coverage

Monday, September 20 2010
‘Hood’ Steals Pots Of Coverage

Two wildly differing films picked up the most coverage over the weekend, with Universal’s Robin Hood getting coverage almost across the board, perhaps unsurprisingly so; The Ghost (Optimum) had less of a blockbuster feel to it, but the coverage it earned over the weekend was almost as impressive.

Casting our minds back last week, to Tuesday’s Metro, there was a major review of Glee – The Complete First Season (Fox), with further reviews for Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (Disney) and Dogtooth (Verve, see below for more on this one).We also like the way the Metro always picks up at least one unusual selection, this week plumping for hip hop meets jazz meets orchestral music title Timeless (Lewis Recordings) under its Cult Vulture – Oddball Choices For Sofa Loafers banner.

There was a slightly esoteric choice in The Sun on Friday, as ever (the paper always plumps for at least one slightly leftfield choice in its trio of reviews). This week it kicked off with Prince Of Persia, following it with a review of 80s-friendly pop promo compilation Video Killed The Radio Star (3DD) as well as Mountain Gorilla (2 entertain). It’s also worth noting that receiving almost as much coverage as all three was Momentum’s The Horde, covered in the theatrical reviews as part of the company’s limited theatrical to DVD release strategy. A smart move that appears to show the concept still works.

It was the same story in the Daily Star, where The Horde got nearly as much coverage as lead review (and giveaway competition prize) Robin Hood (Universal), alongside further reviews for The Ghost (Optimum), The Tooth Fairy (Fox) and a triple pack of titles from UCA, taking in Death Race, Crank and Snatch.

The Daily Mail’s DVD of the week was Fox’s Date Night, completing a decent run of reviews for the Steve Carell and Tina Fey starrer.

On to the quality press, and Universal’s Robin Hood took the leads spot, followed by the thirteenth series of The Simpsons (Fox), Los Olivados (BFI), Army Of The Dead (Kaleidoscope) and Dogtooth (Verve). The latter could well be in the running for next year’s foreign language Oscar nominations too, which could give it added longevity. The title has already punched above its weight, getting far more coverage across both broadsheet and tabloid press than your average subtitled film, let alone a Greek one. Congratulations to Verve for securing so much coverage.

In The Guardian’s Film & Music supplement, the cover story and a whopping one and a half pages’ worth of editorial inside were devoted to a look at Back To The Future, tying in with its impending 30th anniversary and Universal’s theatrical re-release and Blu-ray bow in October.

On to Saturday, and The Ghost continued a fairly strong run of coverage with lead review in The Times’ Playlist supplement, alongside Ridley Scott’s take in Robin Hood. There were further mentions for The Back-up Plan (SPEH), Cop Out (Warner), I Spit On Your Grave (Screen Entertainment/101 Films) and Modesty Blaise (Second Sight). Wedged in the middle of the film reviews, incidentally, was a full page ad for 2 entertain under a Best Of The BBC tagline and HMV tagged.

In the Telegraph’s Saturday Review section, there was coverage for Revolver’s Exit Trough The Gift Shop, as well as eOne’s The Joneses (both already out for a week or two, incidentally).

The Guardian Guide supplement featured Mother (Optimum) in its prime position, with mentions for The Good Wife Season 1 (Paramount), Robin Hood, I Spit On Your Grave, Compulsion (Second Sight), The World At War (Fremantle) and Modesty Blaise. Its feature coverage devoted a whole four pages to a retrospective studying Our Friends In The North (Simply Media) and why it is essential viewing ahead of its DVD release on September 27.

A scoot through Sunday’s tabloids showed Robin Hood again dominating the proceedings, with it leading off the Sunday Mirror’s coverage, alongside The Magnificent Seven (MGM).

The People’s coverage was all competition-based, as usual, with review cum giveaways for Robin Hood, The Back-up Plan and a trio made up of The Ghost, The Horde and Rec2 (eOne).

DVD of the week in the Sunday Express was Robin Hood.

A redesigned News Of The World featured (as we’ve noted here before) a wilfully eclectic mix, taking in three titles from Optimum: The Ghost, Mother and its Blu-ray release of The Third Man, as well as Rec2. Its glossy Fabulous magazine now has a five page entertainment section at the back, with two of those devoted to what it dubs Night In – TV, DVD and music. This included coverage for Glee (Fox) and Lost (Disney).

On to the bigger newspapers, and The Sunday Telegraph plumped for The Ghost, with other titles reviewed taking in as far-flung places as Nanjing (for High Fliers’ City Of Life And Death), Sudetenland, aka Moravia (for Second Run’s Adelheid and Sherwood Forest (for Robin Hood).

The Observer’s Mark Kermode ended with the more obvious choices, but first plumped for Eyes Wide Open (Peccadillo), featuring The Special Relationship and The Ghost side by side (both Optimum), given their similar subject matter – albeit with the latter featuring a fictional British PM loosely based on Tony Blair, rather than Michael Sheen’s impersonation of the real thing in the former. The Special Relationship also received coverage in The Observer TV pages, its transmission being the week before its DVD release. Other Kermode reviews were for Rapt (Chelsea) and finishing off, as mentioned above, with Robin Hood and Cop Out. Philip French’s classic DVD was Mr Bongo Films’ Lola, picking up some further overage after featuring in last weekend’s reviews.

On to the business pages and two fascinating stories in the Sunday Times’ business section; one talking about Amazon’s offer to buy LOVEFiLM with a bid that values the rental by post operator at £200 million, with another story mooting that private equity company Apax Partners is looking to sell some or all of HIT Entertainment. In The Sunday Telegraph’s business pages, there was an interesting look at what is likely to be the country’s last mega-mall (for the time being at least), Westfield Stratford City, due to open next year ahead of the nearby Olympics. Seventy per cent of people going to the Olympics will travel through the shopping centre, meaning 7 million customers in one month come 2012.

And finally, there were three films that cropped up in seemingly every newspaper this weekend. So our three tips on how to ensure coverage for your forthcoming or current release are to either a) give it an “is it real or a hoax?” edge (Optimum’s I’m Still Here and the fact that Joaquin Phoenix’s on-screen breakdown was made up for the feature earned it tons of column inches on the weekend the film opened) or b) get a well-known star to play a well-known name that might not have seemed likely (news that Sacha Baron Cohen had been cast as Freddie Mercury in a forthcoming biopic graced everything from the Hollywood trades to British tabloids) or c) organise a brilliantly executed PR campaign for your British-made feelgood film, as Paramount did for the forthcoming theatrical biggie Made In Dagenham. It was everywhere from the op-ed pages of the broadsheets (The Observer drew parallels between the film and the problems facing the Labour Party) and the style magazines.

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