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Marketing mission impossible

Marketing mission impossible

You can promote it all you want, Cruise and Diaz, but if the product’s no good, people won’t buy. What’s more, they’ll hate you for trying.

July 25, 2010 4:20 by



Well, when all the dust settles, you can’t say they didn’t try.

The studio behind action film Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the marketing efforts for the movie, including the two stars.

Over the last week or so, Tom and Cameron have been everywhere, it seems. As the film opened in Europe, they were to found racing reasonably priced cars on Britain’ famed Top Gear TV show (they even posed for promo pictures trying to remove the helmet of the notoriously anonymous “Stig”); they’ve been in Germany, where Tom showed up to sink a pint at a beer festival, and they’ve popped up on the Tour de France.

All smiles, all the while. A bit like the film, in fact; numerous reviewers have pointed out that rather than acting, Cruise and Diaz spend most of the film grinning like Cheshire cats, attempting to engineer a bit of chemistry where perhaps there isn’t enough. But more of that shortly…

None of the herculean efforts by studio and stars appear to have reaped much success. According to Boxofficemojo.com, the film (which cost $117 million to make) has recouped just $133 million worldwide – and when you consider the costs of marketing and promotion, that doesn’t leave much room for profits so far.

No doubt the studio bigwigs will be spending some time scratching their heads in the conference room, wondering why a good equation (Cruise plus Diaz plus big budget) came out with a disappointing result. Some may put it down to Cruise’s overbearing personal life damaging his box office draw (Oprah’s sofa, anyone?); others may say it had some stiff competition in the form of Toy Story 3, Karate Kid and more recently Inception.

But Kipp feels it is nothing so intangible. Cruise’s Oprah embarrassment doesn’t really interest anyone anymore except the media, while competing films should be no problem – the economic downturn has contributed to a huge boom in movie going, as the public has sought escape and (relatively) affordable entertainment options. The more films studios can milk right now, the better.



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