Faithful readers of The Quorum know that we wait at least 10 days before reporting on the impact of a trailer. After a week or so, a trailer enters the long tail of social conversation and online views. By then, we have a good sense of how it performed.
There was only one major trailer released in the second week in August. So, for this Trailer Callback, we will focus on A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.
JOURNAL has an incredible pedigree. It is the fourth film directed by Denzel Washington, and it stars Michael B. Jordan and up-and-comer Chanté Adams.
Aside from being one of the few remaining truly bankable movie stars, Washington has built an impressive resume as a director. He has helmed three previous films, which were all well-received even if they weren’t enormous box office hits. His most recent effort, FENCES, was nominated for four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture and one for Washington as a lead actor. It also yielded a long-overdue win for Viola Davis.
Speaking of bankable actors, Michael B. Jordan is emerging as a top draw himself. Though concrete numbers are hard to come by, his most recent film, WITHOUT REMORSE, indications are that it was a strong performer for Amazon Prime.
With Washington and Jordan attached, it is very surprising to see that the trailer provided no lift for the film. Before the trailer drop, JOURNAL was at 12% awareness. Today, 12 days later, awareness hasn’t budged. In fact, it’s slipped a point to 11.
For context, three other films also had an awareness of 12 before their trailer drops. As you can see below, all three had noticeable gains in awareness 10 days after the trailer. LAST NIGHT IN SOHO had the biggest jump going from 12 to 20, while THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK had a similar 7-point jump.
While this trailer wasn’t effective in lifting awareness, don’t count this one out. Sony is set to open JOURNAL in limited released on December 10th with a wider rollout in time for Christmas. It’s a pattern that mirrors the release of FENCES, which opened in limited release in early December 2016 before going wide just in time for the holidays.
In other words, this looks to be a carefully curated campaign that will yield greater returns as it gets closer to release.