Alexandre Mallet-Guy - French Distributor of Golden Door
A €1.3m media budget for ID Memento
by Fabien Lemercier
Released in France on March 21 on 143 screens (including 100 in original version) through ID Memento, Emanuele Crialese’s Golden Door finished its theatrical career with 225,000 admissions. We take a look at the release strategy for the film with its producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy and distributor.
"Our target market was the audience of Emanuele Crialese’s previous title Respiro [a hit with French audiences in 2002], which we hoped to enlarge beyond cinema d’auteur viewers with Charlotte Gainsbourg. So we sold the film like a literary epic, aiming at the 30-50 year age-group more so than younger audiences, who rarely go to see historical dramas. For the release date – although Golden Door had been unveiled at Venice – we wanted to have time to work on finding partners. We wanted to avoid at all costs Cannes titles that hit screens between October and December and which are followed by a busy January and the February holidays.
We didn’t buy any advertising space for the trailer, preferring instead to concentrate the bulk of the promotional campaign on posters (gross sum spent, €700,000) because of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s fame: buses in Paris and in the regions, metro stations, Morris columns [billboards on French streets] in Paris in the week prior to its release. The film’s poster was the one we had developed as producers and which was used by the majority of distributors abroad, Miramax in the US included.
With regard to press advertising we advertised in the weekly TV magazine Télérama, in the daily newspaper Le Figaro and the monthly publication Ciné Live. 20-second promotional messages were also broadcast on France Inter radio, while the film’s making of was broadcast by Canal + just before theatrical release and before the banners were shown on Internet, on the AlloCiné website.
We received further support from AFCAE (French Association of Arthouse and Experimental Cinemas) and struck a partnership deal with the French Department of National Education, who published a document on the film’s themes (language, history) and put it online for use by teachers in schools. The media budget cost €1.3m in total.
The film also had preview screenings at a number of festivals and Emanuele Crialese presented it in seven cities in the fortnight prior to its release. Lastly, we organised a press party in Paris for the regional press with Charlotte Gainsbourg and the director in attendance. The film stayed in cinemas for quite a bit (122 prints in its fifth week) and although we were a little disappointed with final admissions, it’s still a good result for a foreign-language film, one which surprisingly did better in independent cinemas outside of Paris than in Paris multiplexes and those in other large French cities."
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