— Robert Duvall as Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore from Apocalypse Now, 1979
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November 7, 2012
“Flight” Beer Product Placement Crashes with Anheuser
— Posted by Kenny Miles
The Denzel Washington drama “Flight” soared to $25 Million at the Box Office this weekend but got heat from Budweiser for a less then ideal and unexpected product placement. The box office gross is quite an accomplishment for an R-Rated movie playing in 1900 theaters with a 2 hour 15 minute running time. This is the power of Denzel’s brand on the Return on Investment for Paramount. However, the Associated Press reported that Anheuser-Busch is less then flattered to have their product in the hands of an alcoholic:
From the AP:
Product placement is a way of life for the Entertainment Industry. Just wait until “Skyfall”opens later this week. And any alcoholic beverage company would love the exposure in a top notch adult drama, talented A-List star like Denzel. However, in “Flight” we watch Denzel as an alcoholic abusing liquor and beer. No one wants to be the product an alcoholic would drink…especially while driving. One can understand their concern, especially if they weren’t consulted.
Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” isn’t really about a plane crash and the aftermath of an unfolding investigation. It is a very thoughtful character study about one man’s out of control addictions, his connection with a fellow drug abusing lost soul (a surprise main character not featured in any ads), and the philosophical discussions of fate (“God’s Will”) impacting our lives. Denzel Washington is a bitter cocaine using alcoholic pilot with deep relational scars. It’s quite a haunting, jarring, and exhausting performance. Seeing select products from a specific brand would make a beer distributor uncomfortable.
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Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.
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