Apparently, there is a new and developing trend in Hollywood and it all started with the breakout hit Paranormal Activity. You see, a few weeks ago Paramount wasn’t planning on giving Paranormal Activity a wide release, but then word started spreading about the film and its popularity grew. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. The director and producers put a link at the end of the trailer where moviegoers across the nation could “demand” the film be shown in their town. The viral marketing worked and this weekend Paranormal Activity dethroned Saw VI to become the reigning Halloween champ.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, Troy Duffy’s long awaited sequel, opens in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey this Friday, October 30th, which is great news for fans living in those New England states – however the rest of us are out of luck.
Or are we?
Stage 6 Productions is hoping to receive the same distribution boost as Paranormal Activity by starting a “demand” page at Eventful, where you can “demand” to have the Boondock Saints II shown in your hometown.
The trailer for The Boondock Saints II really has me looking forward to seeing it but I can’t help but think Stage 6 is trying to duplicate a viral marketing technique that was only successful because movie news sites helped drive it. I don’t think using this technique will work for a movie like The Boondock Saints II (even though it has a generous cult following), because part of the draw and appeal with Paranormal Activity was its budget or lack thereof. BDS II had an actual budget of seven figures and, other than fanboys, the Saints sequel has no other real appeal to a wide general audience.
Too prove my point, as I type this article, the Eventful page shows only 13,961 people demanding Boondock Saints II. When I demanded it be shown in Jacksonville, Florida, I was only one of forty-five people asking for it; my hopes aren’t high for a release here. By comparison, Paranormal Activity has 1.2 million people demanding to see it. Saints has a loooong way to go if it is to snag a wider release. Anything can happen, though,if the movie receives a warm reception by audiences and critics come opening weekend.
On the flip side, this “demand it” trend could be a new way for audiences to bring films they normally wouldn’t be able to see to their towns. Would films like this summer’s Moon and The Hurt Locker have enjoyed a healthy distribution boost if this marketing research method had been employed? No way to be sure now but it would have been interesting to find out.
If you want to want watch Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day in a theater in your town, then go the Eventful page HERE and “demand” it; if not then just wait for the DVD to drop in a few months and then wish you had “demanded” it.
The movie stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and Billy Connolly reprising their 1999 roles and are joined by Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz, Peter Fonda and Judd Nelson.
What do you think about independent studios using this “demand it” marketing research to get their films a wider audience? I personally wish there was a “un-demand” voting option; perhaps I could have been spared the release of Land of the Lost (Zing!).
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day opens in limited release this Friday October 30th, 2009.