MySpace has gone all Hollywood on us. News Corp.'s
It's ironic, I know. The same addictive diversion that has consumers loving short-form video is now aiming to stir up interest in the sometimes barren world of multiplex screens. But it shows that enterprising studios have learned how to cross the divide. Films such as 300 and Snakes on a Plane owe a lot of their box-office success to active online promotion. OK, so maybe Snakes on a Plane didn't exactly set the corner movie house on fire, but we can surely agree that Time Warner's
Sure, studios are spending plenty on video ads. Now that broadband adoption rates are running high and consumers expect to see moving pictures when they load up websites, Hollywood has been a big winner. Ticket sales are clocking in higher than they were at this point a year ago, and that continues the welcome reversal that we caught a glimpse of in 2006. Yes, the Internet may be saving Hollywood, but a lot of that is thanks to the studios themselves.
A movie doesn't hit the silver screen without months of cyberspace hype these days. Individual films are snapping up MySpace profile pages. You're seeing the same thing happen on Google's
A Web-savvy campaign can't turn a bad film into a blockbuster, but it can create cult favorites. So as folks stumble into MySpace's "Trailer Park," scrolling through the five exclusive film trailers that are currently available, it may very well be the catalyst to sign up as a "friend" to the film's individual profile page.
Just as music artists pride themselves on street teams to promote their music, sites like MySpace and YouTube are creating street teams for celluloid. In an ideal world, once online users are emotionally invested in a project, they will want to see the eventual film and tell all of their friends about it.
A windstorm may rip through a trailer park, but this "Trailer Park" has the makings of a hurricane.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz went to school when social networking meant shaking a lot of hands. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.