The PR machine for Jupiter Ascending, like most other Hollywood movies was pretty slick. The usual striptease slow reveal of all the choice delicacies from the movie was rolling out months before the movie even had a trailer out there, and it made you want to watch the film.
It comes together in a number of ways – you have the stars out there doing countless interviews, with every single media outlet that you can think of sitting down in front of them and asking the same sort of questions in an endless stream. Facts about the star’s private lives leak out and put them front and center in the tabloids. The usual amount of relevant and irrelevant data makes it so you can barely ignore the clamor. This before you even really get a glimmer of what the movie is about.
They start pinging the geek radars pretty early too, and it doesn’t matter how accurate the snippets of data are either … the whisper campaign soon starts to generate that much needed interest. Talk of how this might compare to past efforts by the makers of the film starts early too, and again, it doesn’t matter how accurate any of it is – just the fact that people are talking about it means people are going to get really interested in it.
And then the trailers come out – leaked, Youtubed, attached to some other hot property in the movie theaters; however they can get it out there and being watched … they do it.
Then, coordinated with the actual release, comes the full on advertising program, with the film on the front of novelty items sold with some burger-chains re-purposed produce, comics, magazine specials, and a whole host of collectibles. And who has seen the film yet? No one except test audiences and some inside-the-velvet-rope reviewers who have the favor of the production company.
It looks pretty, but the script falls flat. Does that even matter though? With such a weight of money behind these things, and the cache of the film-makers, and as much confusion as there is between the sparring camps of talking heads, it’s going to go down well enough with the popcorn and the huge fizzy drinks that the quality of the film is almost secondary. It isn’t art house – it is entertainment, and it ticks a lot of boxes … and the advertising isn’t a seduction, it’s a full on frontal assault, which it is hard not to succumb to. It’s almost impossible not to arrive at the cinema with your $10 in your hand salivating at the prospect of watching the thing.