PEARL HARBOR, HI: Spending a reported dollars 5 million on events
the weekend before Pearl Harbor debuts on May 25, the Walt Disney
Corporation and US Navy brass have joined forces in an all-out war for
box office buzz.
Earning the front cover and extensive coverage in News-week the week
before the dollars 135 million movie's premiere, as well as stories on
the major wires and Entertainment Tonight, the joint Navy/Disney
marketing of Pearl Harbor has won the entertainment giant and the
military machine a joint PR Play of the Week.
The breathless pre-premiere Newsweek coverage alone would satisfy most
other movie marketing efforts. The magazine gushed that the film was 'a
staggering piece of Hollywood moviemaking,' 'a blockbuster' and 'a big,
juicy slice of Americana that audiences will flock to when it opens on
Memorial Day weekend.'
A survey from Golin/Harris' college campus panel backs up early
According to the survey's 70 panelists from 70 college campuses, Pearl
Harbor is the summer's most anticipated movie.
But just in case pre-premiere enthusiasm wouldn't be enough to win the
box office weekend, the Navy called in the reserves. With pens,
notebooks and press kits in hand, almost 40 Navy reserve information
officers were sent to Hawaii last week to help handle pre-release buzz
for the movie about the 1941 Japanese attack that drew America into
World War II.
For the movie's premiere screening, attended by more than 500
journalists, Disney converted the flight deck of the USS Stennis, a
working Navy ship, into a 2,000-seat open-air theater.
If those 500 critics agree with the glowing coverage the film has
already garnered, the PR push for Pearl Harbor is set to form new battle
lines - stretching all the way to the box office.