So how did Peter Jackson's critically farted-on The Lovely Bones place third with a semi-respectable $20.5 million at the box office this weekend (its first in wide release)? By pretending to be Twilight, pretty much. Not so long ago, Bones was an adult-targeted Best Picture contender, featuring, some hoped, more than a couple of nominatable actors. Then people saw it! Following focus-grouped screenings in mid-November (even before the movie got hit with a Metascore worse than Nine's), Paramount forgot all about awards, pushed back the film's national roll-out to January 15, and retooled its marketing campaign to appeal to the young female fans of poorly made supernatural-themed book adaptations (the Twilight movies, for example).
They cut new ads focusing on the movie's father-daughter relationship and aired them on Lifetime; then they stuck a trailer before New Moon. And it actually worked! Variety says 72 percent of Bones' audience this weekend was female, and 40 percent was younger than 20. In conclusion, all future advertising for everything will feature vampires, and when Twilight Saga: Eclipse arrives in theaters this June, audiences will have to sit through 900 trailers.
'Lovely Bones' does about-face [Variety]