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Does Universal Plan On Promoting Romero's Land Of The Dead?

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Does Universal Plan On Promoting Romero's Land Of The Dead?

Old 05-11-05, 01:19 PM
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Does Universal Plan On Promoting Romero's Land Of The Dead?

I just sent this letter out to Universal Pictures because I don't feel that they're promoting Land of the Dead at all. I hope this gives them the kick in the ass they need (probably just be deleted or ignored though).

May 11, 2005

Universal Pictures Film Distribution and Promotion Department,

Hello.
I'm just wondering where the media buzz is for your June 24th release of "George A. Romero's Land Of The Dead" ?
Universal Pictures must have felt confident enough to move the release date from October to June. So, if the film is being released during the summer blockbuster time, where is the big push?
I hope that Universal isn't going to just throw this film to the dogs without a large promotional campaign.
Honestly, I've only seen buzz for this film on horror websites and in horror magazines (Entertainment Weekly did mention it also in their summer preview issue.) I also bumped into fellow horror fans who had no idea the film was coming out in June or that it was even filmed already. This scares me.
So it does seem though if one does not go to horror sites or read horror magazines...they simply have no idea that the film is being released on June 24th.
We've (Romero and horror fans) waited 20 years for this film to be produced and released. And we want it to be a big success for George A. Romero and for Universal Pictures.
Maybe I'm jumping the gun here writing to you about this, but there's only 44 days until the film hits theatres. You must start running commercials and teaser ads ASAP to get the word out. I've seen your summer slate of releases and "Land Of The Dead" looks to be your best chance at a large or modest hit for the first part of the summer.
Please start promoting this film and get the word out there that's being released.
If you build the excitement to horror and non-horror film fans you'll have a much bigger opening weekend.
George A. Romero deserves to have a very large and successful opening weekend. It's all in your hands now Universal. Come on and do it right!

Thank you for time on this important issue (Important to fans of George A. Romero and horror fans anyway).


I hope someone reads it at Universal and cares.
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Old 05-11-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Zombie67
[B]I also bumped into fellow horror fans who had no idea the film was coming out in June or that it was even filmed already.
Wow, some horror fans you are.

And, I really do hope they delete the email. I'm not a true horror fan by any means. Yes, I do enjoy the genre immensely, but I don't visit any horror websites, nor do I read any horror magazines.

Yet, I've known about the bump since the day it was announced. I've seen the trailer in front of almost every movie I've seen lately (I see roughly 3 a week) and have seen numerous TV ads as well.

Also, when do you consider the start of the summer in terms of movies? If we're simply going with June, then I would say that Cinderella Man has a good chance of being a success.

Universal is doing a good job at promoting the movie. Just take a step back, and relax. It'll be fine...

Last edited by invisiblegt; 05-11-05 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 05-11-05, 01:51 PM
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It's early May, and this is a 15 million dollar budget horror movie. All they shoudl be doing now is some small things and have a trailer playing. Otherwise...real advertising comes in June. Seriously...they moved it to June from October, they must have some faith in it. I'm sure they'll sell it well. Well meaning, in a way that'll garner as much money as possible.

Last edited by jaeufraser; 05-11-05 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:12 PM
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Wow Invisiblegt...you've cut me to the quick...

Universal has done nothing that I've seen to correctly promote this film. A trailer...big deal. I'm glad that you knew about the film since the bump to June. I wish others did though. Many people don't.

You mention TV ads? Where have you seen these? I watch TV every evening and have not seen ONE ad. What networks are running the ads? I can't wait to see them.

And you wrote that you hope that they delete my message. Thanks, that's very kind of you.

Yes, I am a major horror fan and I'm sick and tired of "Hollywood horror" crap fests like The Grudge, Cursed, Alone In The Dark and the Amityville remake (and so many others) getting these mass advertising bursts.
I have not seen Land of the Dead yet, but I know it will be a great quality piece of horror filmwork. George A. Romero knows what he's doing and deserves the proper rewards that have been coming to him for nearly 40 years of hard work.

I love how some people call Wes Craven, "The Master of Horror". What a freakin' joke that it. He's nothing more than a hack anymore.
George Romero has never been shown the respect he deserves and I hope with this film he gets it. Universal can play a big part in this if they handle the film correctly.

And Cinderella Man? Looks awful. It's not my type of film though. I hope you enjoy it. It may be successful. Nothing surprises me anymore with all the junk Hollywood releases these days.

Finally, I will step back and relax when I see this film promoted properly and that George A. Romero has the #1 film in the country (even if for just one week).

Sorry, if I ruffled your feathers. This is just very important to me and other Romero fans out here.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Zombie67
[B]Maybe I'm jumping the gun here writing to you about this, but there's only 44 days until the film hits theatres.




Maybe you're jumping the gun? Settle down, man.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:46 PM
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You have got to be joking... right? really. this is serious? You want tv ads for a film that doesn't come out till next month? Not to mention that it was pushed up. This should actually show you that they have faith in the film.

Will they promote the film? The trailer just came up. Give it some time. You know what happens when you promote a film with tv ads months before the movie is set to release? You get GIRL NEXT DOOR. people think the money has already come and gone by the time it does come out. Usually it's a matter of two weeks before a film is released that you will see the blitz campaign

As for Romero being the master of horror... The guy did wonders to the Zombie genre. But beyond that, I'll stand by what Trigger will say in this thread as he hasn't done anything noteworthy since then and beyond the zombie scene. Bruiser? I mean shit. the guy hasn't had a hit since his Dead films.

Will Universal invest into promoting this film? You have to be kidding to think that they wont. They want to push the Zombie films in general after the success of the DotD remake.

As for Wes Craven... I think it's simple to say that atleast he has diversity when it comes to his films scares. Perhaps if Romero had something more than Zombies to his name he wouldn't be called a one trick pony.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
You know what happens when you promote a film with tv ads months before the movie is set to release? You get GIRL NEXT DOOR. people think the money has already come and gone by the time it does come out.

That's not the best example.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:49 PM
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Universal is planning on timing a "Shaun of the Dead" double-dip to co-incide with LotD's release, with those wonderful "exclusive previews" that these double-dip packages have. I don't know if this will be one of those "free ticket" deals as well. So that's some marketing there, though the double-dip annoys me (I can't see what new can be added to the Shaun DVD to make me rebuy, short of a free ticket to land, and a sale price equal-to-or-less than it would cost me to see LotD in theaters).
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Old 05-11-05, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by scott shelton
That's not the best example.

then how about this. You didn't see ads for Star Wars on tv (besides the junk on access hollywood and so forth) till about last week in those 30 second promo spots. Sure they were online, but they've been getting a lot of ad slots in the last two weeks. Wow, I'm sure I'll get picked apart for that example.

Toss in that you got the slew of ads for Mindhunters till about two weeks ago. Another example is that Monster-in-law just started up two weeks back also. In general, you don't start the over saturation of ads till about a week or two before the film. the GND example was to show that if you advertise months in advance (even though it had a delay) then you get folks thinking that it's old news by the time it gets out.

You want to leave the audiance with just the right amount of wanting to see it and not going over into the level where people are so sick of ads for it that don't want to see it. A pretty thin line if you ask me.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:58 PM
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How in the world did Romero get mistaken for being even a competant filmmaker? he infused a story about reanimated corpses with a superficial social commentry a few times and for that, everyone ignores The Crazies, Bruiser, The Dark Half, Monkey Shines, and Knightriders? I met Romero (as well as Tom Savini) while attending film school in Pittsburgh. My impression: the man is an imbecile.

and Jack, all your comments on the timing of the marketing campaign are dead on. I know because I'm living it.

Last edited by Cygnet74; 05-11-05 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:59 PM
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Well, it's pretty simple. You don't run TV marketing blitzs a month and a half before the release date. It just doesn't help, especially when you've got ads for thigns actually coming out running all day long.
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Old 05-11-05, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
then how about this


I don't disagree with the "two week" theory, just the GIRL example. That film had many problems which led to its downfall - early commercials were hardly the problem.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Cygnet74
My impression: the man is an imbecile.
Ah, but a nice one.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:03 PM
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Hmmmm, I care to hear what other factors you felt lead to the downfall of GND scott.

I'll agree that an R rated film geared and marketed towards folks under 16 was a bad move in general. But I feel that a lot of it steamed off having previews in jan. then bumping it back because Passion (Which it would have provided a counter film) So pushing in a couple million in ads then delaying it to then tossing in a couple more million in ads really pushed its potential back.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
Hmmmm, I care to hear what other factors you felt lead to the downfall of GND scott.

I'll agree that an R rated film geared and marketed towards folks under 16 was a bad move in general. But I feel that a lot of it steamed off having previews in jan. then bumping it back because Passion (Which it would have provided a counter film) So pushing in a couple million in ads then delaying it to then tossing in a couple more million in ads really pushed its potential back.

We've danced this dance already last year, Jack. It didn't end well. We'll agree to disagree on any GIRL subjects, OK?
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Old 05-11-05, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scott shelton
Ah, but a nice one.
that's true! at least in the setting that i met him, he was very gracious.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by scott shelton
We've danced this dance already last year, Jack. It didn't end well. We'll agree to disagree on any GIRL subjects, OK?
Um.. Alright, though I thought I was being pretty civil about it and was looking forward to a good discussion on how marketing works and when it goes terribly wrong. agreed to disagree I suppose.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
Um.. Alright, though I thought I was being pretty civil about it and was looking forward to a good discussion on how marketing works and when it goes terribly wrong. agreed to disagree I suppose.
And civility is what I would like to preserve. My feelings on GIRL's failure include marketing, but go into quality and studio fuck-ups as well. Besides, this is wildly off-topic anyway.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:41 PM
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True while the discussion of GND goes off topic, I thought the aspect we would be touching on would be the marketing failure/success scenerio. That discussion can be applied to this thread since it pretty much is asking what makes a good promotion campaign. Though I see your point.

Civility maintained.
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Old 05-11-05, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Zombie67
I love how some people call Wes Craven, "The Master of Horror". What a freakin' joke that it. He's nothing more than a hack anymore.
George Romero has never been shown the respect he deserves and I hope with this film he gets it. Universal can play a big part in this if they handle the film correctly.

I love Night, Dawn and Day but youre out of your mind. Romero is a one trick pony. Im thrilled that hes returning (finally) to the only thing hes good at but you cant compare him to Wes Craven. Craven spawned a million rip offs after LHOTL in the 70s, revitalized the entire genre in the 80s with NOES and did it again in the 90s with Scream.
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Old 05-11-05, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by joltaddict
I love Night, Dawn and Day but youre out of your mind. Romero is a one trick pony. Im thrilled that hes returning (finally) to the only thing hes good at but you cant compare him to Wes Craven. Craven spawned a million rip offs after LHOTL in the 70s, revitalized the entire genre in the 80s with NOES and did it again in the 90s with Scream.
Craven spawned many ripoffs after LHOTL, but surely you must know that Night spawned more ripoffs than anything Craven has ever done. Just do a search in imdb for all movies containing the phrase "the living dead" Dawn also spawned the zombie craze of the early-mid 80s. Craven has more hits, probably because he's made twice as many horror movies as Romero has. He certainly has more duds than winners too. And even though they are not as popular, I believe Martin and The Crazies are as good as NOES and Scream.
The point is they both have made classics and crap. But by no means is Craven on a higher level, imo
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Old 05-11-05, 05:30 PM
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Well I still haven't seen a tv ad for:

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (June 10)

Herbie: Fully Loaded (June 22)

Bewitched (June 24, same as Land of the Dead)

These are all relatively high profile releases, and they haven't been advertised much either. At this point, it doesn't make sense of throw away money on ads until Hurricane Lucas has passed through.
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Old 05-11-05, 05:48 PM
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I guess because I decided to try to get Land of the Dead wider notice, I've come off looking like a jackass. This was a bad call I guess. I thought I'd get some flack, but damn...I'm wounded here.

Sorry folks.

I was just responding to the many people I've brought the film up to lately that had no idea it had been shot or that it was being released in 44 days. Not everyone reads this wonderful and loving forum page.

You're all right and I'm wrong.
I see that it is too early for all I'm asking and hoping for.
I just wanted to see the film do well at the box office.

And I should try to defend Romero to all you people who call him a one trick pony, but why bother. You'll just come at me in full attack mode again.
I think Romero is the greatest modern horror filmmaker alive today. He's not a one trick pony. I guess that you've never seen Martin, Knightriders or The Crazies. Not to mention Creepshow. And Bruiser wasn't a great film, but it wasn't trash either.
Cut the guy some slack he's always stood up for independent cinema and stuck to his guns. That has hurt him, but I'm proud to call Mr. Romero my favorite filmmaker and hero.

Now I must go and lick my wounds. You guys can be vicious sometimes.
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Old 05-11-05, 07:53 PM
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You related to scott in any way?
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Old 05-11-05, 08:02 PM
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Well, some of us carry your admiration for Romero. The Dead films are classics imo, and I'll watch anything he makes, even Bruiser.

But box office and marketing realities still exist, so that's pretty much what's going to be said. People will know about the film. I wouldn't worry too much about that.
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