The Issues Raised by Media Ownership in Current Media Practice.
Whoever owns the media company determines what type of film is made, how it is influence and how it makes its money or success. This is why the bigger film companies always have the better films and a greater success generally speaking. These films are generally successful because the bigger companies generally follow Mark Kermode’s rules to success. These Rules are the following: A newsworthy budget (very large), Spectacular visuals, NOT to be a comedy and to include an A list star. These big companies also have the budgets to spend a lot of money meaning that they will always get the big stars and generally make a big profit because of having all the key aspects and a lot of money to pull them off at a higher standard. This would result in the film being very successful.
An example of a big film company is Universal Studios (also known as universal pictures). This is one of the most well known distribution companies and is most famously known for recent films such as: Furious 7, Jurassic world, Straight outta Compton and Kick ass 2. Universal Studios are owned by Comcast and is one of Hollywood’s ‘Big Six’ film studios. Universal Studios are also a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Universal studios recently released the prequel to despicable me with the film minions. This film had a budget of $74,000,000 which is nearing the blockbuster budget. This film made a gross of $1,151,000,000 at the box office earlier this year. This means it made over 15 times its budget resulting in a lot of profit. This film also included some A-list star who was Sandra Bullock, she is considered an A-List star because she was rated Most Beautiful Women of 2015 and also one a Golden Globe Award.
Furious 7 covers Mark Kermode’s rules because of the following: the budget was newsworthy with a budget of $190,000,000. The film also covers the rules because the visuals and effects in the film were incredible especially with the jumping through buildings scene in the Lykan Hypersport in Dubai. The film was also not a comedy which checks the third of Mark Kermode’s boxes. Finally, the film has more than one A-List star which is even better. These were the following: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Paul Walker, Ludacris, Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson.
The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distributing and marketing.
Furious 7, is the sequel to Fast 6 and is based on a group of street racers who have stuck by each other from the start of street racing even when it got tough and became a family. This advancement in the series is about the brother of the defeated enemies (Luke Evans) brother (Jason Statham) seeking revenge for his fallen brother. Produced by Original Film and Distributed by Universal Pictures.
Marketing- Furious 7 already had a group of films backing its reputation with the other 6 Fast and Furious films already being well known to fans and the public. The original films didn’t exactly give the franchise the best start it could have achieved. Given the film only had an estimated budget of $38,000,000 it still only managed to return a total of $40,000,000 in the USA and only £1,700,000 in the UK at box office. The sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious was also no help to the franchise with a $76,000,000 budget and with another poor return of $50,000,000 on opening weekend which isn’t exactly great. The same then happened again with the third film: Tokyo Drift which does beg the question why they even bothered. Tokyo Drift had been given an even bigger budget of $85,000,000 which then poorly returned $23,900,000 on opening weekend. However the figures did start to marginally improve with the next instalment of Fast and Furious. This film also had an $85,000,000 budget and started to improve the return with a still unimpressive $70,000,000 at the box office. The franchise then decided to add another instalment hoping that upping the budget to $125,000,000 would increase the popularity of the film and possibly bring a profit on the box office finally. Unfortunately, yet again the film made an unpromising box office return of $86,000,000, so how has this all marketed to become so popular? Furious 6, the next instalment of the franchise had an even bigger budget yet again of $160,000,000 and didn’t make a profit on opening weekend with $97,000,000. Furious 7 had the same problem yet again, this time with $190,000,000 and another loss at opening weekend with return of $147,000,000. However, all of the overall grossing of the films is in the profits but the opening weekends didn’t give some of the films a promising start. With Furious 7 the film had an important marketing turn which did benefit the films success however didn’t benefit the cast. The death of Paul Walker on November 30th 2013 did benefit the marketing of the film because the cast and the film title were constantly in worldwide media due to the effect it had on the film and the fact he was very famous. Also for marketing, Furious 7 released a expansion pack onto Forza Horison 2 before the films release anticipating the vehicles that were going to be shown in the film.
Audience breakdown- audience was 75% non-Caucasian viewers, with Hispanic viewers making up 37% of ticket buyers. Caucasian were second largest at 25% followed by African American viewers who made up 24%. Asians made up 10% and other audience made up about 4%.
The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
3D media, also known as 3 dimensional is a motion picture which creates the illusion that the depth is a lot more extreme than it actually is. This is where two cameras are used to film a scene from two different perspectives. The image you see is also computer generated. During cinema viewings, glasses are provided to enhance the visuals. It is possible to view 3D imaging without the glasses but is a lot more expensive and wouldn’t turn a profit. 3D was introduced in 1915 it didn’t see much success until the 21st century where the popularity has grown with films.
This is a newly developed optical disc data storage format designed to overpower the DVD. It is highly capable of showing 1080p resolution rather than the 480 experienced on a DVD. You can also commonly find them in game discs.
Internet streaming, such as Netflix and Amazon instant video, is a video which is streamed by a receiver while being delivered by a provider. A client media player can watch/play the given media before its been downloaded.
Downloadable content is additional content for video games and films, such as film soundtrack and expansion packs on games such as. This could be on amazon, Google Play or any other downloadable store for smartphones, computers or consoles.
How they affected the distribution of Furious 7
Most of these types of multimedia distributors had an affect on the success of Furious 7. The biggest in my opinion was Downloadable content. With the release of the Furious 7 expansion pack on Forza Horizon 2 made the franchise a lot of money. Every gamer out there had to get their hands on this vehicle pack just because the cars starred in the film. Also Blu Ray has played a big part in the films profits. The Blu Ray has made $27,683,273 which is impressive considering the Blu Ray hasn’t been out for a very long time. Streaming hasn’t played any part in the film at all so far, this is because the film is very recent and the only company to have the rights at the minute I believe to be SKY.
The significance of proliferation in hardware content for institutions and audiences
The most common ways in which films are viewed is either cinema or DVD at home. Many people in our modern world haven’t got the spare money to go out every week and watch the latest films. For companies to make more profits on films they now offer renting services such as Love Film. Renting is now going under and isn’t very popular anymore due to the rise in streaming. Sites such as Netflix and Amazon instant are now the go to sites to watch films. Even though the films aren’t really recent it still is a way for companies to get extra profit of of their films at later dates.
The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences by international or global institutions
When producing a film, promotion is very important to the films success if the company doesn’t find the correct audience to promote the film to then it is destined for failure. Film promotion generally includes press releases, advertising campaigns, merchandising and media. Also interviews with the key people in making the film such as directors and actors.
The key reason that Furious 7 was so successful at the box office was because of the targeting, the key aspect of the targeting for Furious 7 was diversity. As you can see from the cast they assembled from the film. They are all a different race and there is also a female, this is one of the integral successes of the franchise. There is a member of the cast that is relatable in some way to anyone who watches the film which makes it so successful.
A song released by whiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth also made the viewings of this film rocket through the roof. This song currently has just under 400,000,000 views on Spotify and the single was in the UK’s top 40 for 27 weeks straight and hit number one for 2 weeks in a row. The music video contained clips of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker together and the video was a montage for Paul walkers respects paid by the film and the artists. Again this song was sung by an incredibly famous rapper which would have further increased the popularity of the song therefore further increasing the popularity of the film.
A lot of the promotion had already taken place for this film back in 2013 but then due to the incident of Paul Walkers passing they really just held off the release and had to re shoot parts of the film. This in some ways made the film even more highly anticipated because fans had to wait another year for the films release and to see hoe they’ve managed to fit the recently deceased actor into the film.
The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour
In most cases, having a big company does have a huge impact on the success of the film. Obviously in the case of Furious 7 having universal studios behind them did mean that the Franchise has benefitted a lot more than if it had all been done by original film. Promotion of this film started all the way back from Tokyo Drift. At the ending of this film Han is dead and its never revealed who killed him or what happened next. But then at the end of Furious 6 the scene was then show again from a different perspective. From the scene it is revealed who killed him and why, this started the marketing for the film which was back in 2013. The popularity of Furious 7 compared to the original Fast is very large. The original film has taken an overall sum of $207,000,000. The latest instalment of Furious 7 on the other hand managed to take $1,152,000,000. This does show that in the increase of marketing throughout all of the films has made a huge impact on the film’s success. The biggest impact which the big film company had to help Furious 7 would have to be the budget. The original film only had a budget of $38,000,000 which is nothing compared to the huge $190,000,000 which was spent on Furious 7. So overall the big companies are successful because of the mass budget the list of A-list stars, the non-comedy and the spectacular visuals as shown they are all used in the making of the Furious 7, whereas lower budget films have to try a lot harder to be successful. The best way to watch a film is definitely the cinema, with the cinema you get that experience which you can’t possibly fulfil in your own home. The sound, the quality of the film and just the overall visit can’t be matched at home; there is no possible way of getting that sized screen and those sound systems into your own home. But I do think that the most popular way of watching films is now streaming, everyone has no subscribed to either Netflix or amazon instant. This way of watching films is simply a lot easier and personally I find is more convenient than buying the DVD’s or downloading the films. The Blu Ray release has only recently been released whereas the film was released over 5 months ago. This isn’t exactly the fastest turnaround for a film to go to DVD, but by doing this it allows the film to earn more in the Box Office and make it more popular on DVD release because there will be a lot of people anxious to watch the film and therefore buy it on release. Also the DVD releases have a lot of popularity because they have the additional content such as Bloopers and Extra scenes which is quite popular with film lovers.