It's the question every reader invested in the future of comics as a business has been asking for the past ten years: why don't publishers advertise their comics as part of the blockbuster movies based on their characters?
Of course, most of the previous films based on the four-color medium came as part of licensing deals which saw movie studios work largely independent of the companies crafting the comics they adapted. However, since it's entered a new synergistic phase of creation with parent company Warner Bros., the newly branded DC Entertainment is taking the steps to draw movie fans into comics starting with this weekend's "Green Lantern."
The company shared exclusively with CBR the following end cap, which will run at the end of the credits for "Green Lantern" in theaters coast-to-coast starting with midnight showings this evening:
While the image itself may be a small step towards raising awareness for comics amongst superhero film fans, DCE revealed that the end cap was only one piece of the promotion they've put together to support both brick and mortar retail and their own tablet-ready app in the wake of "Green Lantern's" opening.
Aside from the regular promotion for the film and its comics on the publisher's The Source blog, the company has also released a number of special programs to help comic retailers highlight their own connection to the movie locally, including:
- A collection of film "one-sheets" sent to help stores advertise their Green Lantern merch in store displays.
- Special advance screening passes promoted at comic retailers in 50 markets and released through the new website Gofobo.com
- Special giveaways and promotional items including rings and t-shirts as part of a cross-promotion between Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment in select markets.
The long term impact of campaigns like this on comic sales may be hard to track, but fans going to see "Green Lantern" this weekend can stick around after the credits to see how many patrons take notice of the end cap.
Stay tuned to CBR for more on the growing corporate promotions for comics and film in the months ahead.