Call it the “Passion effect.” Suddenly, faith and values are hip. [Motive Entertainment’s] Paul Lauer, who marketed The Passion, says: “The phenomenon is real. It’s been on the horizon for years.”
Category Archives: The Passion of the Christ
Combining the built-in audience of the Bible and the marketing genius of The Blair Witch Project, the arrival of The Passion of the Christ feels like a milestone in modern culture.
The movie that couldn’t find a distributor a year ago is now poised to become this year’s first surprise hit. “It’s one of the most talked about films since the first Star Wars prequel,” said Exhibitor Relations prez Paul Dergarabedian.
Gibson Film Gets Huge Marketing Effort: The groundswell is stunning considering the once-dismal expectations for the film, which is in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic with English subtitles and is rated R for violence. It’s set to debut Feb 25 on 2,000 screens — an unusually large release for an independent religious film.
“Passion KA – CHING: Devout auds drive stunning $20 million bow.”
– Daily Variety
“We have never experienced this level of interest in group sales,” said Regal Theaters VP Dick Westerling.
“The film succeeded through Gibson’s brilliant marketing strategy.”
– Associated Press
“The Passion is rewriting box-office history.”
Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations, in Associated Press
Grossed $612 million in worldwide box office
#1 R-rated film in history
#1 independently distributed film in history
#1 February release in history
#1 5-day per screen average of $41,295
The Passion of the Christ has stunned even the believers. It’s defied all the practiced way of doing things. It has become a textbook study in both high-profile and below-the-radar marketing.
…Lauer declined to discuss this campaign in detail. “There’s a certain proprietary element to it,” he said. “We have spent a great deal of time creating a new system.”
…Most talked-about movie event in America, in large part because of a marketing strategy… One Hollywood executive at a major studio described it as “a brilliant marketing campaign.”
Gibson has half-jokingly remarked that The Passion may be a career-killer for him. If it is not, if it somehow manages to succeed, it will be in no small measure owing to Paul Lauer’s efforts.