"Superbad" and "Resident Evil: Extinction" may be long remembered by their fans as excellent representations of the comedy and horror genres, respectively. But the two films likely have a special place in the hearts of marketers at Sony, who saw online ads emerge as the dominant platform for promotion for the first time.
In surveys conducted by Sony's Columbia Tristar, which distributed the films, movie marketers found that internet ads were the primary method for reaching audiences.
"Superbad," a low-budget comedy racked in more than $120 million in the U.S., according to Box Office Mojo, while "Resident Evil: Extinction," a summer gore flick, scored big with more $50 million in domestic sales.
But according to an eMarketer survey, Hollywood still lags behind the rest of corporate America in terms of online ad spending as a percentage of total ad buys. While other industries allocated 5.9 percent of their ad budgets to the web, Hollywood spent a meager 3.7 percent. Despite the fact that eMarketer expects the movie business to pour more money into online advertising, projections indicate that Hollywood will still be behind the rest of corporate American in the future. Hollywood is expected to spend just 11 percent of its ad dollars online by 2011, compared to more than 13 percent for other industries.
But among digital movie marketers hope remains high that hits like "Superbad" and "Resident Evil: Extinction" will be a sign of a bright future.
"The tools for people to use social networking and collaborative website building are now so commonplace that we have to find new ways to stay on top of those trends," Dwight Caines, Columbia Tristar's executive vice president of worldwide digital marketing, told Forbes. "We want to be on those websites, really getting into people's digital lifestyles, figuring out where they are communicating with friends and loved ones."