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Old September 8 2012, 06:51 PM   #27
Christopher
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Re: Product placement

SimpleLogic wrote: View Post
That maybe true for untried things but all The Star Trek movies made a profit (some more than others) and most without any product placement. Trek is such a big media brand unto itself it shouldn't have to lower itself to things like that. $100 DVD sets anyone?
What you need to understand is that movies today have gotten far more expensive. On top of which, most of the previous Trek movies were given mid-range budgets, whereas the Abrams movies are top-tier, tentpole movies. They're so expensive that Paramount and Bad Robot have had to bring in additional production partners simply to finance the films -- Spyglass Entertainment on the 2009 film and Skydance Productions on the upcoming sequel. Indeed, Skydance's whole reason for existing is to co-finance Paramount films. It's just hard to understand how insanely Hollywood production costs are ballooning these days. They have to get money any way they can, from multiple different sources.

There's also the fact that promotion goes both ways. What you can get in exchange for inserting a product placement in your film is help from the corporation in promoting your film with their commercials and tie-in products. And that's very important. Marketing, getting a film out there and into the public eye, is critical to its success. No Trek film since ST:TMP has really had a big tie-in marketing campaign until ST 2009. Paramount wanted to give it a big promotional push, to really turn it into a studio tentpole property. In the past, they didn't really have to, since ST was popular enough to promote itself -- but then ST's popularity faded and the films were too slow to adjust, which is probably a factor in why the last couple of TNG films had underwhelming box office (though admittedly not the only factor). This time around, Paramount really wanted to go all-out in promoting the film, and in modern times that requires getting sponsors to offer promotional tie-ins. And putting product placements for those sponsors in your film is often the tit for tat. Star Trek promotes Nokia in the movie, and Nokia in turn promotes Star Trek in its ads. It's just part of how the big-budget movie business works these days.

As for the DVD sets, the profits from those go to CBS, which owns the franchise as a whole. But Paramount makes the movies, because Paramount kept the rights to the former Viacom's motion picture properties when they split with CBS. So Paramount can't fund the movies with CBS's profits for the DVD sets.
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