"I've never seen this happen before," said Rogers & Cowan EVP Jeanne Berney, who is handling publicity for the IFC-distributed movie.
Berney explained that 'Greek Wedding's publicity has been the opposite to the normal cycle of film promotion. Usually, small movies try to generate early interest with a campaign beginning months before the film's debut. Magazine editors and film critics are given screenings and profile opportunities, then shorter-lead-time media are approached. By the time the film actually hits theaters, PR is beginning to slow down.
With 'Greek Wedding', interest heated up months after the release, at a time when most independent features are heading to video. Some of that success can be attributed to R&C's publicity plan.
Part of the plan included screening the film at ShoWest, a trade show for theater exhibitors in Las Vegas that offers a single night for independent films.
That helped the film open on 108 screens in eight markets. But since its April start, Greek Wedding has grossed more than $80 million. It is now on more than 1,600 screens, and grossed $14.2 million over the Labor Day weekend to earn the number-two spot at the box office - an unheard-of advance for a five-month-old movie.
Now media outlets are rushing to play catch-up on the word-of-mouth success.
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