The Digital Prowess of the Jurassic Park Franchise
Just recently, Peter Callaghan of reviewsphere shone a spotlight on the Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed 2017 film, Kong: Skull Island starring Tom Hiddleston. The reviews weren’t exactly good, but it’s an example of one of those movies that, according to the aforementioned article, is “so bad they’re good.”
Kong: Skull Island isn’t too dissimilar to the Jurassic Park reboot that didn’t go down too well either. On one hand, Kong: Skull Island drew polarizing opinions from fans; some enjoyed it, while others didn’t. Jurassic Park, on the flipside, still maintained that charm it had back in the ‘90s, and found a way to integrate it more than 20 years later.
For its part, Jurassic World, the 2015 remake of the classic Steven Spielberg film in the ‘90s, relied heavily on technology. No, not from a CGI standpoint – because people have to admit that Kong: Skull Island also had awesome effects – but from a social media perspective.
A couple of years back, Jurassic World, based on this report by BBC, set records for the biggest opening weekend for a non-sequel in box office history – a record previously set by James Cameron’s Avatar. Ultimately, this can be credited to the digital campaigns executed by the team behind Jurassic World.
First off, Jurassic World’s Twitter page featured snippets of interviews with the cast, as well as screenshots from the previous movies and exclusive video clips. Since the aforementioned social media platform is more fast-paced and news-driven, it took full advantage of fans’ relatively short attention span in a positive way.
While people behind the Jurassic World franchise banked on out-of-the-box tactics, game developers took it upon themselves to join in on the action. Slingo, a UK-based online gaming platform, released a slots game based on the original film, Jurassic Park, in time for the reboot. In 2014, one year prior to the film’s release, fan-made social media accounts even tweeted and teased the soon-to-open Jurassic World theme park.
These digital strategies got fans talking about Jurassic World right from the get go. Colin Trevorrow, the remake’s director, is so social media savvy that he used to tweet somewhat mysterious, artsy photos of movie props just to tease the fans. One of the film’s producers, Frank Marshall, even posted on Instagram a few short weeks ago a picture of the first photo on set.
By relying on various technologies, such as CGI, gaming, and social media, it is a fantastic way to get people talking about movies. Yes, Jurassic World 2 won’t hit the big screen until July 22, 2018, as reported by the NME, but as early as today, the movie has already got movie hacks writing about it. Creating this kind of buzz influences the audience in a good way and, more importantly, turns these movies into cash cows for the production houses.