Movie Ad Costs Were Up 2.5% in ’92

LAS VEGAS – Motion picture advertising costs went up last year and are expected to rise again in 1993, based on presentations at the National Association of Theater Owners’ Showest convention, held here last week. The trade show brings theater owners together with studio executives.
In 1992, the average cost of marketing, advertising and related activities per film rose to $11.92 million, a 2.5% increase over 1991, according to Jack Valenti, president and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America. Combine those figures with production costs, and the average cost of making a movie was $40 million, Valenti said.
Though movie industry executives speaking at the show urged their brethren to stop the spending spiral that’s driven costs to out-of-line proportions, they also implored studio heads and theater owners to improve marketing and advertising, indicating that those budgets will rise this year.
Columbia Pictures chairman Mark Canton urged the industry to intensify marketing campaigns that include merchandising and national promotions as a way to boost sales for the industry. That would entail more involvement from the packaged-goods advertisers who’ve linked with the entertainment industry over the past five years.
Some theater owners indicated that they’re getting more support from studios on the local level, as studios take a renewed interest in in-theater marketing.
Meanwhile, the demographics of movie-goers are changing. The fastest-growing group in the U.S. is Hispanic, accounting for 13% of movie admissions, Valenti said. African Americans represent 12% of the audience, whites 71% and all others, 4%.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)