The numbers are in, and Cloverfield was a huge success at the box office. The film had a three-day opening weekend of $41 million, and broke past the $50 million point after Monday rolled by. Cloverfield now holds the record for the biggest three-day January opening, previously held by the 1997 Star Wars at $35.9 million. It also broke Black Hawk Down’s MLK weekend record of $33.6 million, which it reached after four days. These results could turn Cloverfield into the most profitable film of 2008, considering their production costs were only around $30 million.
Much of the film’s success can be credited to the internet viral marketing campaign. The buzz began after a short and mysterious trailer was attached to Transformers in July ‘07. Since then, the campaign slowly incorporated more elements and provided more clues about the film (although it surprises me that after 6 months of information, we still knew nothing!). Personally, I couldn't keep up with all the different tie-ins the marketing campaign had created, so I visited websites such as cloverfieldnews.com to get all the info. The campaign had several different storylines that kept fans interested and asking for more.
The last time there was this much buzz strictly on the internet about a movie was Snakes On A Plane. It turned out to be a complete disappointment despite the internet buzz. Maybe, just maybe... because the title made any mystery about the film completely impossible! As of now, it appears the viral marketing was a success for Cloverfield. Everybody was buzzing about a film they had NO CLUE about which resulted in a huge turnout.
Now the question is, will Cloverfield be able to continue to ride this wave and gross over $100 million? Television, radio, and posters didn’t appear until about a month ago. In my opinion, the internet viral campaign generally requires dedicated fans, and almost entirely excludes anyone else. People were either really anticipating Cloverfield or had no clue about it. But even those who didn’t know much about Cloverfield, knew just as much as those who were following the campaign!
Fives Bees for a huge payoff even with a risky marketing campaign!