In any Hollywood Good vs. Evil story, the tension between the Good Guy and the Bad Guy is a pivotal selling point. Sometimes, the villain exists just to prop up the hero. Sometimes, he or she helps carry the plot. And then there are times when the Bad Guy turns out to be a breakout star.
This is what happened in the wake of the initial Thor, and follow up Avengers film. Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in both films, and the latest release Thor: The Dark World, has become an unexpected fan favorite. In a movie where star, Chris Hemsworth, was expected to carry the weight of the franchise, Hiddleston has ridden internet fame to superstardom, and become a force to be reckoned with in his own right.
Ronn Torossian President of 5WPR, said the franchise producers recognized this developing dynamic, and capitalized on it in the ramp up to the latest Thor movie. They turned the marketing into a preview of the tension between Thor, and his adopted brother, the villainous Loki. Fans loved that Hiddleston was being given more to do.
Then, on the debut weekend, these fans flocked to theaters en masse. Thor: The Dark World earned more than $86 million in its opening weekend. This is a 30% percent increase over the debut of the original Thor movie.
Torossian said the producers nailed their target audience while releasing a super hero movie that even the critics seemed to love. No easy feat, that. In doing so, they showcased a proven plan for entertainment PR success.
Create a story in the initial movie, and watch for fan reaction. Then leverage that reaction to craft promotions that are keenly attuned to your audience as it is … not as you want it to be. In accomplishing this, producers of the Disney super hero franchise scored a massive win, and detailed a blueprint others are very likely to follow.