BMW’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ Marketing: Plenty of Racing, No Logo Close-Ups

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ is Cruise-controlled fun, reviews say.

Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is off to a pleasing start at the North American box office, where it is pacing to gross $18 million-plus for the day for a weekend debut in the $45 million-plus range, if not approaching $50 million.DETROIT (WWJ) – Ethan Hunt is back, and he faces his most dangerous mission yet: he must prove that a group of renegade spies known as The Syndicate is real.Tom Cruise isn’t quite the box office king he was back in 1996 when the first Mission Impossible hit theaters, yet the franchise is still surprisingly strong and the fifth movie in the series is poised to open pretty big this weekend.

This week at the multiplex, we’ve got spies under siege (“Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation,” starring Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson) and hapless road-trippers (“Vacation,” starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate). Moviepilot — which studies social data and box office trends — analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns are at their peak. There’s been plenty of speculation as to how the big-budget film, costing Paramount and Skydance Productions $150 million to make, will fare in the U.S. It’s also scored surprisingly strong reviews with a 92 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has a 93 percent rating.) Now we have a question for you: What is the single best Tom Cruise movie? According to movie critics, producer-star Cruise carries out his latest task with dedication, physicality and even a bit of humor, while McQuarrie orchestrates the action and intrigue with aplomb.

Feel free to vote for one of his 1980s classics like Risky Business and Top Gun, a 1990s flick like Jerry Maguire and A Few Good Men or something more recent like Edge of Tomorrow or Jack Reacher. In this masterful set piece, various constituencies of spy and counterspy angle to assassinate or protect the Chancellor of Austria, who’s watching Puccini’s Turandot from a balcony box — oblivious, like the rest of the audience, to the sweaty melee playing out literally in the wings.

The recipe for a “Mission: Impossible” movie: take a bunch of interesting actors, add the latest in futuristic technology, throw in a death-defying Tom Cruise stunt or two, and voila! The image layover plays off the app’s ephemeral nature by incorporating the franchise’s classic line, “This message will self-destruct in X seconds,” producing a beautiful synthesis of technology and marketing. The Times’ Kenneth Turan writes, “Cruise has been a vigilant steward of the franchise, making sure its various components (including its celebrated Lalo Schifrin theme) never fall below acceptable standards and even pushing to exceed the norm where possible. Abrams’ “Mission Impossible 3,” which interwove the heart-pumping twists of “Alias” (season one) into a theatrical recipe that could give Daniel Craig as 007 a run for his money. This was part of a larger Snapchat initiative where the official “Mission: Impossible” account hosted a “MIssion Month,” leveraging Snapchat influencers and engaging fans to take part in 24-hour “self-destructing” missions, all introduced personally by Tom Cruise.

It will easily win the weekend, and is expected to be even bigger overseas, where it rolls out in numerous markets (Cruise remains a far bigger star internationally). So it is with the polished and entertaining new film. … Both in front of and behind the camera, ‘Rogue Nation’ has been smoothly made by people who know just how to get entertainment business done.” Cruise doesn’t phone in his fifth performance as super-spy Ethan Hunt, Turan says, and he “sets a new standard for himself” in terms of doing his own eye-popping stunts. Pick any Tom Cruise movie you want, but please only vote once and only for a single selection. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Elsewhere, a new-to-the-series spy of murky loyalties, played by the ravishing Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, waits for a specified note in the score to fire her rifle.

These programs have driven well over 65 million impressions on the platform. “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” has also been integrated with up-and-coming Berlin-based app Dubsmash, where users can mime along to the best one-liners from the movie and share the short clips across their social media profiles. The Mission: Impossible movies have never opened to huge numbers, outside of the second film, which took in $70.8 million over the long Memorial Day weekend in 2000, including $57 million for the weekend itself. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. Cruise continues to give his all to these films, and his all in this latest episode is more than enough.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal Fresh: “As much as Cruise dominates ‘Rogue Nation,’ it’s his co-star, Rebecca Ferguson, who emerges as the film’s true and most memorable revelation.” — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post Rotten: “There’s a difference between velocity and momentum, and while the chases, shootouts and close-quarters combat rarely flag, our interest does.” — Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer Few would claim that “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is a deathless cinematic masterpiece, but its deft balance of warmth and sustained zaniness have made it a perennial favorite.

But, Hunt and company aren’t done yet; there’s much more to come before this movie wraps up with a twist that I’m willing to bet most viewers won’t see coming. Critics say “Vacation” is unlikely to engender such fondness: a game cast keeps things watchable, but the film’s labored gags are often more cringe-inducing than funny. One of the strongest selling points for the movie is that the stunts were all real, including a classic car chase through Casablanca and Tom Cruise flying through the air strapped to the outside of a plane — that scene shows up in a comedy video shot with Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Whereas story has never been a strong point of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, this isn’t a spy adventure that require CliffsNotes to follow along.

Ed Helms is the latest actor to portray Rusty Griswold, and the plot is basically the same as the original: the family hits the road for Walley World, and is met with wacky characters and bizarre humiliations along the way. “Vacation” is currently at 27 percent on the Tomatometer; here’s what some of the critics are saying: Rotten: “Where the original ‘Vacation’ relied on slapstick for its laughs, the new film is dragged down by something grosser and more hostile — let’s call it splatstick.” — Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times Rotten: “A rare reboot so foul and humorless it makes you question whatever attachment you might have to the original, this lazy retread of Harold Ramis’s 1983 ‘Vacation’ sours everything that’s made that film such an undying fixture of basic cable.” — David Ehrlich, Time Out Rotten: “If any of this was surprising or cleverly timed, you’d laugh and then cringe. The real stunts also inspired a hilarious video by daredevil YouTubers “Dude Perfect,” which has already racked up more than 2 million views. “Rogue Nation” has solid stats going into the weekend, with more than 100,000 tweets and searches each. It’s a sterling example of the elegance, wit and harrowing flesh-and-blood stunt work that have made the “Missions: Impossible” the most reliable blockbuster series going: Five films, some weirder than others, but not a stinker in the bunch. In ‘Vacation’ you cringe first and ask questions later.” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune Fresh: “‘Vacation’ is consistently funny from beginning to end, a piling on of dumb but inventive jokes and excruciating, awkward situations.” — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

However, we’d expect positive word-of-mouth to inspire more chatter as the weekend goes on, pushing the movie to a total just short of $50 million. “Vacation” already has several million dollars under its belt having debuted on Wednesday, and the laffer looks set to carry on successfully for second place over the weekend. The evil Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) is a force not many foes would want to reckon with; his henchmen will stop at nothing to bring Hunt down; and British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) keeps Hunt at arms’ length and always guessing. The remake has received a ringing endorsement from the star of the original, Chevy Chase, and has scored millions of views on a series of hilarious clips and trailers. It works best when, like Ferguson, it plays things straight instead of (mis)using Simon Pegg’s Impossible Mission Team techie for broad comic relief and Ving Rhames for Lou Grant-like grumpiness.” And if McQuarrie doesn’t make the cut as “an unsung action auteur,” Edelstein says, he “delivers a corker of a high-speed motorcycle chase” and a “gangbusters” knife fight at the film’s climax. McQuarrie, who also wrote the script, wisely keeps the narrative focused on the battle between good and evil, not letting any extraneous plot twists trip up his action.

This time out the leading man is Ed Helms, who has been active across his own social channels, as well as taking part in Q&As with IMDB and AOL Build. It’s also 10 minutes too long, an overage I suspect McQuarrie would’ve corrected had the film’s original release date not been moved up by five months. However, “Vacation” has clocked up almost 20 million trailer views across Facebook and Twitter, which could see it outstrip that total across the span of its 5-day opening.

Tobias Bauckhage (@tbauckhage) is co-founder and CEO of, a social-media-driven movie community reaching more than 29 million Facebook fans and 30 million monthly unique users. A spry 52 when the film was shot, Cruise — still his own stuntman — clings to the fuselage of an Airbus A400 cargo plane flying thousands of feet off the ground, swims underwater for several minutes without a breath, careens a motorcycle, sans helmet, around a winding Moroccan highway at suicide-miles-per-hour, and uses his oft-demonstrated if little-remarked spider-strength to shimmy up a pole to which he’s handcuffed, using only his hips and his abs.

In another summer of action tentpoles that treat female characters as afterthoughts (see: “Avengers” or “Ant Man”), “M:I 5” gives us a female lead who shares equal screen time. Woven in among the capers is an espionage story that recalls the first film, the Brian De Palma-directed Mission: Impossible of a generation ago by being more opaque than is strictly necessary. All that matters is that Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust (great name, that) is a marvelous addition; a smooth, alluring operator who is Hunt’s equal in every way. Fan engagement measured by PTAT (People Talking About This) is a more precise but also a fickle indicator, heavily driven by content strategy and media spending. And unlike the heroine of the year’s biggest hit, Jurassic World, she’s sensible enough to take off her heels before rappelling down the side of a building.

We track all English language original video content about the movie on YouTube, down to videos with 100 views, whether they are officially published by a studio or published unofficially by fans. Sean Harris, who plays the leader of a ring of presumed-dead covert agents now using their skills to sow strategic unrest, looks like a lab-grown hybrid of good guys Cruise and Pegg. And Alec Baldwin brings his welcome comic pomposity as a C.I.A. official who convinces a Senate panel to shutter and defund the Impossible Mission Force, making Hunt a fugitive. He reels off all the usual superspy credentials before concluding, “Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny.” It’s an absurd line, and the movie could’ve used a few more of those. (McQuarrie gave Cruise better jokes in Jack Reacher).

We count all tweets over the period of the last seven days before release (Friday through Thursday) that include the movie’s title plus a number of search words, e.g. “movie” or a list of movie-specific hashtags. Because even without the Turandot sequence Rogue Nation still has at least three other stand-up-and-cheer set pieces, executed with a rigor and clarity the crude Fast & Furious series can’t touch. Search is particularly significant for fan-driven franchises and family titles as parents look for information about films they may take their children to see.

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