×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mid-Year Movie Report: Warner Bros. Dominates Top TV Ad Budgets

Now that the midway point through 2015 has been passed,  iSpot.tv has undertaken an analysis of the spending and engagement for movie studios’ TV advertising activity so far this year.

Over the last six months, the movie industry spent more than $1.7 billion advertising official trailers on national TV for this year’s new films. That bought 621 spots, which aired nationally over 300,000 times. However, that doesn’t include the many dollars that flowed into co-promotions (“Minions,” brought to you by Tic Tacs!), or the dozens of trailer remixes and sneak previews studios now leveraged on YouTube and beyond.

These are the movies with the biggest TV advertising budgets behind them:

1. Get Hard (Warner Bros.): $44.5 million
2. Focus (Warner Bros.): $43.3 million
3. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.): $41.8 million
4. Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros.): $41 million
5. Entourage (Warner Bros.): $40.6 million
6. Run All Night (Warner Bros.): $39.3 million
7. Jurassic World (Universal): $32.4 million
8. Hot Pursuit (Warner Bros.)? $31.8 million
9. Furious 7 (Universal): $31.7 million

Warner Bros. clearly led the charge among studios in spending, contributing 26.4% of the overall total spent on TV advertising. Universal Pictures followed with over 17% of that total, and 20th Century Fox trailed in third with less than 10%.

Popular on Variety

The studios’ money went primarily to the Big Four TV networks, with MTV the only non-broadcast channel to make the top five:

1. NBC: $192.5 million
2. ABC: $170.4 million
3. Fox: $148.4 million
4. CBS: $123.8 million
5. MTV: $99.9 million
6. Cartoon Network: $89.4 million
7. ESPN: $85.7 million
8. TNT: $77.7 million
9. TBS: $65.6 million
10. Comedy Central: $60.5 million

While plenty of networks such as Nick ($25.6mm), Cartoon Network ($89.4mm), ESPN ($85.7mm), E! ($41.7), Bravo ($48.9mm), and Comedy Central ($60.5mm) saw a fair share of advertising dollars, the movie spend with each was generally tied to the audience demographic each network strives to represent.

In terms of programming, sports programs reigned as the top shows where movie ads were placed against. Super Bowl XLIX was naturally the largest single-event winner, with $47.1 million spent advertising movies during the big game. But it was NBA Basketball that scored the largest overall movie advertising budget across regular-season games with $54.2 million, and another $41.2 million for the 2015 NBA Finals.

Engagement

Money aside, the movies that had the most engaging TV ads looked distinctly different than those with the biggest advertising budgets. Ads for “Jurassic World” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” were virtually tied as the most engaging, each generating over 6.6% of the digital chatter taking place around movie ads for the first half of the year. Ads for “Minions” followed closely in third with 6.2%, while “Fantastic Four” and “Magic Mike XXL” rounded out the top five with 5.5% and 4.2%, respectively.

But the movie with the best engagement-vs-spend ratio (in other words, the movie that spent the least for the best result) was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Lucasfilm spent a mere $110,000 to air the trailer nationally three times on April 17, but generated nearly 60 million online views and over 1.8 million social actions.

While movie studios may have been democratic with their spending across all Big Four networks, NBC emerged as the clear winner in terms of ROI. The network was responsible for more than 16% of all the digital engagement around movie ads so far this year, nearly twice that of ABC, MTV, and Fox (which all generated just over 7% of that chatter each). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Super Bowl XLIX was the single program driving most of this engagement, responsible for over 8% of this activity alone.

More Film

  • 'Wonder Woman 1984' Trailer: Gal Gadot

    'Wonder Woman 1984' Trailer: Gal Gadot Returns With Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig

    “Wonder Woman 1984” dropped its first trailer on Sunday, with Gal Gadot returning as the titular Amazonian goddess. The film is set, of course, in the 1980s in America, decades after the first film’s events. Kristen Wiig is playing Wonder Woman’s infamous comic-book nemesis Cheetah, while Chris Pine is returning for the sequel. It’s unclear, [...]

  • Over the Sea

    Macao Film Review: 'Over the Sea'

    The beginning is a fairy tale, or a nursery rhyme. A woman nurses her squalling baby in a house by an orchard near the sea. Sunlight slants in through the open windows, the mother hums a lullaby, and then brings her son outside and places him in a cot suspended from the apple-laden branches of [...]

  • CCA Film Nominations

    Critics' Choice: 'The Irishman,' 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Lead Movie Nominations

    “The Irishman” has picked up the most film nominations for the 35th annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The Martin Scorsese gangster drama goes into the awards show with 14 noms, including best picture, director, acting ensemble as well as best actor (Robert De Niro) and supporting actor (Al Pacino and Joe Pesci), the Critics’ Choice Association [...]

  • Parasite

    LA Film Critics Announce 2019 Winners

    Members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. met today to vote on the year’s best cinema accomplishments. Recent winners of the group’s top prize include “Roma,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” “Boyhood,” “Her”/”Gravity” and “Amour.” List of winners below. Best Editing: Todd Douglas Miller, “Apollo 11” (Runner-up: Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie, [...]

  • Jumanji The Next Level

    Box Office: 'Jumanji 2' Kicks Off Overseas With $52 Million as 'Frozen 2' Powers Toward $1 Billion

    Disney’s “Frozen 2” skated past international box office competition again as the animated sequel propels toward the billion-dollar mark globally. “Frozen 2” generated another $90 million from 48 foreign territories, boosting its worldwide weekend haul to $124.9 million. After three weekends in theaters, Disney’s musical follow-up has made $919.7 million and should cross $1 billion [...]

  • Lily James

    Lily James Delivers Masterclass in Charm in Macao

    British actor, Lily James delivered a masterclass in charm and good humor at a seminar on Sunday at the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. Questioned on stage by one of the festival’s senior programmers, James brightly chatted her way through eight years of a screen career that has taken her from “Downton Abbey” to [...]

  • Avengers Endgame Lion King Frozen 2

    Disney Crushes Own Global Box Office Record With Historic $10 Billion

    Thanks to a record number of billion-dollar blockbusters, Disney has become the first studio in history to surpass $10 billion at the worldwide box office. Through Sunday, the studio has generated $3.28 billion in North America and $6.7 billion overseas for a global haul of $9.997 billion and is expected to officially cross the benchmark [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content