Release strategy pays off in publicity for third Matrix film

LOS ANGELES: Warner Bros. Pictures scored a publicity coup last week with the worldwide simultaneous release of the third installment of The Matrix trilogy.

LOS ANGELES: Warner Bros. Pictures scored a publicity coup last week with the worldwide simultaneous release of the third installment of The Matrix trilogy.

On November 5, the film opened at the same time in Los Angeles, New York, London, Moscow, Tokyo, and in more than 90 other countries, marking the first time a film has had an international "zero hour" debut.

"It required the unparalleled efforts of our international teams on six continents to bring this film to 107 markets simultaneous to its release in the United States and Canada," said president of international distribution, Veronika Kwan-Rubinek.

The marketing strategy paid off in tremendous publicity, both before and during the premiere. Outlets from Forbes to Hollywood.com devoted coverage to the novel approach, and the film made $43.1 million at the box office on its first day and $204 million internationally over its first five days, meaning the movie will probably be a financial success despite mixed reviews.

Film marketers say the final Matrix installment presented a marketing challenge due to the short window between its release and that of the second Matrix film, not to mention its mediocre reviews. The short period between films made media placements more difficult, since cast members were featured heavily in the media during the release of the second installment only last spring.

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