“Super” is Changing the Way Movies Are Promoted

On Friday, April 1st, the new movie starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page hit select theaters.  It’s called Super, and chances are you’ve never seen a preview for it.

Despite the fact that many people didn’t see it advertised, the dark comedy is starting to receive some buzz.  This movie won’t set any box office records, but it’s an incredibly funny film that has the potential to attract a cult following that drives DVD and Blu-ray for years to come.  As an indie film with a tiny budget, this is exactly what the film’s producers are hoping for.

Wilson plays “Frank”, a down-on-his-luck fry cook whose wife (Liv Tyler) recently left him for the shady drug dealer, “Jacques” (Kevin Bacon).  He decides to begin fighting crime as the “Crimson Bolt” and is joined by “Boltie” (Ellen Page), his neurotic sidekick.  Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

Movies like Super are beginning to change the box office landscape.  With a production budget of $2.5 million, there wasn’t much room for advertising.  But, have no fear, the film’s stars have Twitter accounts and they know how to use them.

With a combined following of well over 2.7 million people (mostly attributed to Rainn), Wilson and Page set off to promote the film using social media.  They changed their profile pictures to the “Crimson Bolt” and “Boltie”, redesigned their Twitter pages, and began tweeting messages like,

“Hey @rainnwilson! Wanna go fight some crime?”

When a film’s stars have a significant amount of Twitter followers, it certainly helps build buzz for a movie.  The best part is, it costs the studio absolutely nothing to spread the word to millions of people.  Seeing a close friend recommend a movie online is much more influential than any thirty second preview could ever be.

It sounds crazy, but aside from acting ability, an actor’s greatest skill in the future could be their ability to build an online following.  Studios are beginning to recognize the value of social media, and it’s entirely possible that they begin to ask an audition question like, “How many followers do you have on Twitter?”