Using the old “work-in-progress” canard, in a move not likely to please LA’s AFI FEST, which had booked Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” as its closing night gala, Disney/DreamWorks has added “Lincoln” as Monday night’s secret screening in New York. This allows a film to gain media attention and buzz without officially being part of the line-up.
Last year Paramount took Martin Scorsese’s unfinished 3-D “Hugo” to the festival at the last minute to build some cinephile-friendly buzz, which worked to propel the film into a must-see for adults and families alike. “Hugo” scored eleven Oscar nominations and five wins, tied with Best Picture-winner “The Artist.”
While less expensive than “Hugo,” the $65-million historic drama “Lincoln” also needs to pull moviegoers and earn awards cred going into the competitive fall season. Here’s my take on the new trailer and the film’s marketing challenges.