The Purge: Prepare Yourself For a Marketing BINGE

About a week ago the film world was STUNNED to learn that The Purge had won the weekend box office.  Yes it beat out the supposed comedy heavyweight “The Internship” that reunited Wedding Crashers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

How did this movie, with a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, and produced for a mere $3 million dollars manage to net $34.1 million opening weekend and shock us all?


From the above graphic, based on ACTUAL SCIENCE, it’s obvious that a feeling of numbness is a prerequisite to viewing “The Purge.”

For the reader who doesn’t know anything about The Purge here’s the skinny.

Watch the Trailer

So I’m going to assume you are far to lazy to click the above link and spend 2 minutes of your ADHD existence getting up to speed so first I’ll post a picture of you being lazy.


Apparently you’re also too lazy to upgrade your monitors to flatscreen. You my friend are one small earthquake away from being crushed.

Now that we’ve got that out the way Lazy Larry, the premise is simple, one night a year, for 12 hours, all crime is legal thus providing an outlet for everyone to blow off steam so that they behave the other 364.5 days a year.  On this very special night, Ethan Hawke’s family gets in some serious caca when his son lets a stranger into their fortresslike home and the men hunting the stranger come a-knockin’.

The premise is intriguing, I’ll give them that.  But all reports are that the intriguing-ness ends there.  And that it’s just another run of the mill horror movie. Here’s a little insider tip, run of the mill horror movies typically don’t make 34 million dollars opening weekend.  So what was different?  THE MARKETING.


Standby for confusion amongst the elderly.

Does this ad remind you of anything?  The District 9 marketing campaign perhaps?  After the overperformance of District 9 as well as the overperformance of The Purge we have to draw the conclusion that when you couple an interesting premise with a marketing campaign that doesn’t only emphasize the movie but ties it into real life, you’re capturing consumers attention in a new way.

Is this really all that surprising?  American’s are bombarded with approximately 3,000 ads/day.  With this much being thrown at us I think we’ve gotten pretty good at tuning a lot of it out.  When a campaign such as this asks us to think what it would be like if this happened in the real world, we are FORCED to spend more brain power thinking about this particular IP and want our question to be resolved.  We crave completion. Seeing the movie satisfies the lingering question of “what would it be like if this happened?”


I don’t know the answer to the last question, but apparently this hairdo happened.

Using my extensive deductive reasoning I have verified one axiom about Hollywood.  Errbody copies errbody.

Dante’s Peak – Volcano

Armageddon – Deep Impact

The Bounty Hunter – One For the Money

The Illusionist – The Prestige

Bugs Life – Antz

The Truman Show – Ed TV

Alexander – Troy

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 11.05.50 AM

“It’ll be ok James,” whispered Gadget the service dog. “Mean old Tom can’t hurt you anymore, it’s not your fault.” James glanced down at the weekend’s box office returns. A single tear on his cheek that glistened of broken dreams.

Now that we know that Hollywood takes scripts, Xeroxes them and slaps a different title on them with a fresh D-list star I’m pretty sure that this real world marketing thing is going to be copied with increasing frequency.  Every bus stop bench, every park you pass is about to be inundated with “real world marketing” that tries to push it’s content as being applicable to your everyday life.  Is this necessarily a bad thing? Well no, but it will probably start to be overused and misused and then it won’t even be fun anymore.

This cross-promotion of a story world will be touched on in my next article about buzzword: TRANSMEDIA…oOOoooooOOOooo (ghost sound)


What’s underneath this sheet is likely FAR scarier.

Potential Arrested Development Spin Off Pitch:  Ghost Buster.  When Buster Bluth succumbs to a seal attack and dies he haunts his mother and Lucille Two by sending them on a wild goose chase with a fake map he drew in Cartography school.  Like us on Facebook HERE, follow us on Twitter HERE AND consider giving us your firstborn child HERE.

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