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Sony’s ‘Escape Room’ Finds Way Out With Short Video App TikTok

Hugely popular short video platform, TikTok has teamed with Sony Pictures Entertainment to promote the studio’s psychological thriller “Escape Room.”

The film features six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control. They must use their wits to find and follow the clues, or die.

Sony recreated settings from the film, including a shrinking room and an ice room, in Madrid, Spain. These were used for a creator event pitching 30 key opinion leaders from 17 countries against TikTok talent from the U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia and Spain.

As they participated in the challenges, both groups recorded their experiences, creating 75 pieces of video content, and sharing with their fans on TikTok’s official “Escape Room” movie page. Participating TikTok creators included the magician, Magic Singh, comedian Karol Konk and makeup artist and body painter Vicky Banham.

The event ended with a scavenger hunt around Madrid’s landmarks, solving puzzles and photographing and sampling local Spanish tapas. The prize for the winning team was a fan screening of the film in their local markets.

The movie began its international career in early January — and has racked up $29 million in China since its Jan. 18 release, and $48.8 million in North America. It continues to roll out internationally through February and March, including a U.K. outing this week.

While still leaning on conventional advertising tools, Hollywood’s studios are increasingly incorporating digital elements into their film marketing and promotional strategies. In China, where TikTok operates a separate platform called Douyin, digital marketing is already dominant. The partnership on “Escape Room” is TikTok’s largest event to date with a Hollywood studio.

TikTok claims some 17 billion monthly average video views, and a mean viewing time of 40 minutes. Its key user group is females in the 16-24 year-old age range.

“TikTok’s community interests and demographic are perfectly in line with ‘Escape Room’’s audience. This collaboration allows us to offer a unique experience to some of our fabulous ‘creators’ but, most importantly, to create exciting and engaging content for our global community,” said a TikTok spokesman.

“An innovative and immersive thriller like ‘Escape Room’ makes for a perfect collaboration with global innovators .. The TikTok creators were able to generate their own fun and shareable user-generated content for their followers and spread their excitement about the film,” said Sal Ladestro, executive VP of international marketing for Sony Pictures Releasing International.

The film was directed by Adam Robitel, from a screenplay by Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik based on a story by Schut. The film is produced by Neal H. Moritz and Ori Marmur. Rebecca Rivo is executive producer. It stars Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani and with Yorick van Wageningen.

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