PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: Film PR blitz leaves nothing in reserve

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.

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