Never Say Never Again

Wednesday, February 26 2014
Never Say Never Again

Metallica Through The Never was, even its fiercest critics would admit, not your average film.

Part live concert, part horror flick, it deftly wove together footage of the band on stage coupled with an actual plot – the kind most likely to appeal to fans of the band – to come up with something that was a lot more original than the bog-standard gig movie.

Equally interesting – and innovative – was eOne’s route to market for the release. For it secured a one-day only release at IMAX cinemas nationwide a full four months ahead of its home entertainment bow in February. What’s more, the whole shebang was looked after by the company’s home entertainment team; the entire campaign being geared towards its eventual bow on physical and digital formats.

And now, with more than 12.000 units sold in is first week, on the back of a forecast-busting theatrical release, the company can let the results speak for themselves.

As eOne’s Dan Gilson notes: “It was really important for us to position the release as a full blown feature film and not just a live DVD, and I think the results speak for themselves.”

Although eOne’s home entertainment arm looked after the theatrical marketing, it still coordinated with the theatrical team, particularly sales, on the release.

“We worked very closely with our theatrical sales team and secured a great release platform with IMAX, and then a one day showing across 120 sites so it was very much a collaborative process,” explains Gilson.

For an individual theatrical bow it was deemed a huge success – “Very much so; we comfortably beat our box office forecast and took the biggest screen average of the opening weekend,” says Gilson – but it also provided the perfect platform for the eventual home entertainment bow. As Gilson explains: “Giving the film a full theatrical platform with the accompanying media activity (both paid for and promotional) that such a release unlocks was invaluable with our positioning of the title as a feature film – it absolutely raised its stature.”

And, four months later, the home entertainment bow came along. Its first week sales certainly achieved what eOne set out to do all those months ago, the 12,000 plus units shifted indicated that it had achieved sales not normally associated with a live gig, or at least one more in the One Direction league.

eOne had already stated, during the first few weeks of it merging with the newly acquired Momentum, that it would be increasingly looking at limited platform releases, either with its theatrical arm handling the marketing, or its own home entertainment team working on them.

As Gilson concludes: “I think it proves that with the right content you can really get a result across both theatrical and home entertainment; especially if there’s a committed fanbase to service.”

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