The promotional campaigns for the movies “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” were mostly finished by the time the actors went on strike on July 13. In contrast, the marketing for “Haunted Mansion” was supposed to begin on July 15, with the film’s stars, including Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Lee Curtis, Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, and Jared Leto, conducting interviews and walking the red carpet at the premiere. These events could generate millions of mentions on social media.
However, due to the strike, a dozen TV appearances featuring the cast members of “Haunted Mansion,” including shows like “Good Morning America,” had to be canceled. Planned promotional events in London, Toronto, Atlanta, Miami, and San Diego were also called off. This left the movie’s director, Justin Simien, to promote the film alone. Unfortunately, many of the resulting headlines focused on the strike rather than the movie itself.
Tony Chambers, Disney’s executive vice president of theatrical distribution, acknowledged the impact of not having the cast available for promotion, particularly when compared to the attention garnered by “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.” He stated in a phone interview on Sunday that these movies were “behemoths.” However, he pointed out that ticket buyers had a positive reaction to “Haunted Mansion,” with an 85 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Chambers expressed optimism that the film could still find success, as there are few family films scheduled for release for the remainder of the summer school holiday.
Additionally, “Haunted Mansion” achieved a revenue of $9 million from its partial release overseas. As Disney is the largest movie company in Hollywood, owning numerous affiliates, such as Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Animation, Searchlight, and 20th Century Pictures, the company has a broad and diverse collection of intellectual property, which it brings to the big screen in new and innovative ways. This includes “Haunted Mansion,” which is based on a Disneyland ride that has been in existence for 54 years.
In conclusion, while the actors’ strike did have an impact on the promotional activities for “Haunted Mansion,” Disney remains hopeful that the film will still perform well, especially considering the lack of competing family films during the summer holiday period. The company’s global reach and extensive intellectual property portfolio continue to be major assets in the film industry.