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Marketing to Moviegoers – Robert Marich – Glossary

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above the title
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In film credits, the name of a person or company appearing on screen before the title of the movie and at the very top on posters, though usually in smaller type size than the movie title
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acculturated
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Describes an ethnic audience that is bilingual and displays traits from more than one culture
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admission
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Refers to each person admitted to a theater; also called ticket sale, head count, or unit ticket sale
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affinity group marketing
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Targeting consumers who already have a preexisting kinship to an element of a movie, such as die-hard fans of an actor, genre, such as horror, and subject matter, such as religious or hobby interests
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aggregate deal/aggregate contract
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Simplest type of film-booking deal; specifies the film distributor gets a percentage of cinema box office without first deducting a house nut
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AMPAS
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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
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ancillary market
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Film media after theatrical release, such as video and television
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answer print
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First complete version of a film but of rough technical quality and perhaps lacking some special effects and music
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app/application
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In the online world, a piece of software that performs a specific task and is most associated with providing devices a direct interface to media content
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artbuster
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Small-budget, box-office-hit film tailored for sophisticated audiences or in a foreign language, the phrase combining art house with blockbuster
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art house
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Esoteric, out-of-mainstream films geared for sophisticated tastes; often, the creative drive provided by the director
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attribution modelin
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In media, complex mathematic analysis of the extent a marketing message driving traffic elsewhere, such as a TV commercial directing viewers to a website; simply put—one media platform getting credit for generating some of the consumer activity at others.
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auteur film
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A European school of film criticism that holds a deeply artistic film reflects the vision and bears the personal stamp of the director, who it the “author,” using the French word
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avail (from availability)
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In television- and radio-advertising buys, a commercial slot that can be purchased
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banner ad
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In Internet advertising, a graphical web unit measuring 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels high that usually is presented like a billboard
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billboard
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In media, a large outdoor sign with advertising; also, a short audio or visual announcement preceding or following a program that identifies a sponsor
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biometrics
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In research, applying statistical analysis to measurements of biological activity, such as analyzing eye movement or brainwaves
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blind bidding
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Licensing movies to theaters on a sight-unseen basis, which is illegal in most states
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block booking
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Illegal practice of bundling unwanted titles in a sale with desired titles
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blockbuster mentality
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Eternal hit-orientation in Hollywood that every few years some pundit’s lament is something “new”
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boost
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Purchasing additional advertising after the pre-release advertising campaign ends, going beyond basic newspaper listings
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boutique
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Specialized advertising agency that usually creates advertising campaigns
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box office
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Theater ticket revenue at the consumer-spend level
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buena vista
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“Good view,” a Spanish phrase used by Walt Disney as the name for some of its film and television-program-distribution divistions
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bulletins
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A standard-size, outdoor billboard measuring 14 x 48 feet
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calendar house
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Art-house movie theater that uses monthly mailings (presented as calendars with film titles and play dates) to promote its schedule, most films running just a few days each, not the customary full week
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calling tree
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In marketing, an organized network in which recruited persons agree to systemically pass on a message to others to create a mushroom effect, typically via telephone and/or e-mail
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CARA (Classification and Rating Admistration)
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Main U.S. audience classification entity for theatrical films, based in Encino, California; self-regulation industry organization created by trade group MPAA
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Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
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A nonprofit organization founded in 1974 that promotes responsible marketing to children through voluntary cooperation by the entertainment industry; backed by ad-industry trade groups
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clearance
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In exhibition, theaters receiving exclusivity to a film in a geographic area, typically limited to several weeks; in television, coverage of the country as a percentage of households for a television program, particularly in syndication
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clickthrough
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In websites, engaging an element that brings out another page or website
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cold opening
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In film publicity, instances when movies are not made available for press screenings prior to release
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comp (from comprehensive layout)
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Polished movie-advertising poster made for internal review and possible further modification
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concept testing
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In research, evaluating audience reactions to film ideas and casting for proposed films in development
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co-op advertising (from cooperative)
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Paid advertising whose expense is shared between distributor and exhibitor
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cost per thousand (or CPM)
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In advertising buys, this metric measuring the cost to reach one thousand target households or persons; measures efficiency of the media buy
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creative advertising
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The content of an advertisement, including text, graphics, and visuals
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creative boutique
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Independent advertising agency that specializes in developing posters, television commercials, trailers, and other source materials for movie advertising
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cross-collateralize
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In finance, offsetting gains from one sector with losses in another sector, such as lowering profits from video release of a film by subtracting losses from theatrical release
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cross-over film/cross-over audience
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Attracting an additional audience segment that was not the prime target; often occurring later in a film’s theatrical run, indicating a film has broad appeal
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cue
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Spots in a trailer or other audio/visual work where a music or audio element is inserted
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day-and-date
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Simultaneous release, such as foreign and domestic releases of a movie on the same day
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d-cinema
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Digital cinema refers to electronic projection of movies in theaters, which replaces film in mechanical projector equipment
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demographics/demos
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Segmenting a human population by some metric, such as age, income, education, hobbies, religion, or geography
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distribution
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Process of licensing films to consumer media outlets, such as theaters and television channels
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distributor
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Film company that markets films to theaters, television, and DVD/video stores
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documentary
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Cinema genre recording actual events to tell a true story or using interviews after the fact
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dollar house
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In exhibition, a theater playing two or three movies shortly after their main theatrical runs at low admission prices; mostly located in economically blighted areas
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domestic market
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The United States and Canada; for theatrical distribution, serviced as a single territory by major studios because most films open in both countries simultaneously
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earned media
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In cyberspace, platforms owned directly or by partners that pass along marketing messages without direct compensation, such as lists of e-mail addresses
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exclusive run/exclusive screening
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In theatrical distribution, booking just one theater per city
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executive summary
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Several-sentence description of a movie’s plot and nuisances; often used by marketing executives to fashion the early advertising/promotion campaign
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exhibition
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Movie-theater business; a theater operator is an exhibitor
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exit survey/exit study
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In consumer research, quizzing moviegoers with a list of questions about the film they’ve just seen immediately after they leave the theaters
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fanboys
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Geeky and nerdy persons obsessed with comics, sic-fi, fantasy, and horror in popular culture
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firm terms
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In theatrical distribution, insisting that financial obligations be met as stated in the theater-booking contract with no post run adjustments
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flash ads
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Standard website advertising that is usually static, except for a click through; less elaborate than rich media
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float
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Interest income theater owners earn on ticket-sales cash before paying distributors’ rentals
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floating heads
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In print advertising, presenting faces of lead actors prominently in a cluster to convey star power
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floor
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In film-booking contracts, the minimum amount of box office that distributors receive; amount particularly oriented to later weeks of any film’s run when box office revenue is low
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focus group
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In research, a group of five to ten moviegoers recruited to discuss content that is presented by a moderator in a closed room to learn consumer attitudes
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four-walling
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A rare method of distribution or booking; a distributor or filmmaker renting a theater for a flat fee and keeping all box-office revenue
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Frankenstein trailer
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Splicing together bits of rejected materials to spark creativity in developing film trailers
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frequency
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Number of times each household or viewer in a target audience on average sees an advertisement; the higher the number, the more a target audience is saturated
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genre
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Film or movie with highly focused subject matter (such as blood-and-guts, children, crime, horror, karate action) that itself is promotable; in the indie business, suggests subject matter down-market and highly marketable
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grass-roots campaign/grass-roots marketing
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Localized publicity and promotions
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green-band trailer
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Movie trailers suitable for all audiences; the term comes from the green background, or card, visible when the trailer starts
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guerrilla marketing
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Unconventional marketing typically done at the local level that aims for maximum results from a minuscule budget
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high concept
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Movie idea so unconventional that it alone is a promotable element
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hit
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In the Internet world, the request for a film from a server
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house nut/house allowance/house expense
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In film-booking contracts, a negotiated amount of box-office revenue theaters keep and thus not shared, after which movie distributors begin taking a percentage
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impressions
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In media buying, the number of persons reached via an advertising placement, including duplications
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indie (from independent)
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Any film company that is not one of Hollywood’s six major studios
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integration/integrated media
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Combining two or more different platforms to convey the same marketing message, such as a TV commercial urging viewers to visit a presented website address
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junket
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In film publicity, a mass press event at a single location that brings together journalists and film talent for interviews; in some cases, multiple films can be publicized at a single junket
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key art
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Basic poster design that becomes a signature for the movie and used as a consistent graphic for all print advertising; key art also incorporated into trailers and television commercials
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key-copy line
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Frequently repeated advertising slogan that summarizes the selling message for a movie
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legs
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Ability of a movie to hold screens and build audience in theatrical release
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licensee
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The entity that receives the right to make products based on movie intellectual property, such as toy companies, keychain makers, and clothing manufacturers
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lincensing
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Renting a movie to a theater or other media outlets such as television channels; separately, conveying the right to use elements of a movie property in movie-themed products
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licensor
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The entity that grants rights to others (licensees) to make merchandise based on movie intellectual property; in-house units in all major studios devoted to such licensing, typically called “consumer product” divisions
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limited release/limited run
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In theatrical distribution, booking pattern of a few theaters per city or theater zone
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live action
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Film footage with real actors, as opposed to animation or computer-generated images
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lobby card
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In movie promotion, an 11×14-inch mini poster printed on heavy stock paper for use in theaters; decades ago, made in sets of eight with seven different scenes from the film plus a title card with film credits
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lobby stand/standee
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Large cardboard displays in lobbies of theaters that promote films
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major studio
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One of the top-six revenue-producting movie companies: Columbia Pictures/TriStar (part of Sony Pictrures Entertainment), Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros.
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make good
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In media buys, free ads to cover any shortfall in promised audience delivery or to compensate for spoiled ads
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marketability
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In film testing, measuring the degree of difficulty to promote an unreleased film to an audience
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marketing
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Promoting a product or service to a target audience; includes consumers not consciously shopping for or aware of the product or service; differs from “sales”
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marketing cost
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Expenses for creating advertising, buying media to place ads and consumer research, publicity for generating editorial coverage, and manufacture and shipping costs of theater release prints
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media buy
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Purchasing advertising on television, newspapers, magazines, and the like; excludes costs of creating the ads themselves and consumer research
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media stunt
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A highly concentrated burst of advertising two to four weeks before a movie premieres
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megaplex
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In exhibition, a theater with fourteen or more screens, though there’s no agreement on minimum screen count
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monadic test
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In research, allowing a respondent to see only one element under consideration at a time, such as a single movie title, and not simultaneously see any alternative choices
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money shot
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Most gripping scene in a trailer or television spot that, in terms of pacing, is the climax or payoff
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MPAA
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Motion Picture Association of America, the trade group of the six major studios
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multichannel television
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Any television service delivered to homes outside of regular broadcast signals; includes cable, satellite, microwave, and so forth
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multiplex theater
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In exhibition, a theater with six to thirteen screens
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NATO
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National Association of Theatre Owners, the trade group for movie theaters
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negative cost
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As in film negative; the expense of making a movie to the point where a master copy is ready for duplication
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New Hollywood
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Realistic films with edgy stories and mass-market potential that emerged in the United States in the 1970s, in a sharp break from the middle-of-the-road movies churned out for decades by the studio system
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niche film
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Movie with strong appeal to a narrow audience segment
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norms (from normative)
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In research, expected patterns based on past data covering similar films
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one-sheet/one-sheet poster
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Used in theaters, a standard-size movie poster typically measuring 27 x 41 inches and printed on thin paper
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out-of-home media/out-of-home advertising
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In advertising, any of the vast ad-media platforms outside buildings; includes standard outdoor billboards, bicycle-rack panels, transit ads, TV monitors at checkout counters, and so forth
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outside agencies
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Marketing consultancies hired to handle marketing functions in full or in part
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physiological research
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In movie research, measuring a moviegoer’s bodily activity or human behavior when exposed to film content
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platform release
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Theatrical-release strategy of opening a film in a relatively small number of theaters initially, intending to build on positive critic reviews and word-of-mouth buzz; a high-risk strategy because wide release won’t materialize in initial reaction unfavorable
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playability
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In film research, measuring the extent an audience likes or dislikes a film after viewing
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play date/engagement
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In theatrical distribution, booking a film at a theater that is counted as one even when the same film is shown on multiple screens at a single location
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positioning study
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In research, developing a detailed movie-marketing plan at a very early stage based on a script and casting
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possessory credit
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An extra citation for a filmmaker stating “A Film by” or some similar phrasing that designates a creative signature on a film, the credit often appearing above the title in ads that contain full billing
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poster panel
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In outdoor advertising, billboards measuring either 12 x 25 feet (30-sheet panel) or 6 x 12 feet (8-sheet panel)
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press kit
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Distributor-supplied packets containing press releases and photos for use by journalists; increasingly delivered online
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preview screening/test screening
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A test screening that is a private showing of a film prior to theatrical release to a recruited audience to gauge moviegoer reaction