It's not often a movie studio invests money in a film sequel when the first installment failed to meet expectations. And it's even more rare that expectations for the sequel are higher than they were for the film which spawned it.
But that's the story behind 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' the sequel to the 2007 film, 'Ghost Rider,' starring Nicolas Cage who is reprising the title role.
The first film cost about $110 million and went on to earn about $225 million worldwide. Not too shabby, not a bomb, but that number pales in comparison to the earnings for mega-hits like the 'Batman' and 'Spider-Man' franchises which earned more than that domestically.
Both Marvel (who owns the 'Ghost Rider' character) and Sony (who is producing the films) have said they expect the sequel to surpass the original in global sales, and since it cost about $35 million less to make, that means profits will be even higher.
So why are they so optimistic about the sequel? Well, a recent poll shows that a whopping 91 percent of men under the age of 25 are aware the sequel opens on Friday and have expressed interest in seeing it. The social media campaign promoting 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' has focused primarily on this demographic; the trailer has been floating around the Social Web for weeks and the build-up, again aimed directly at the male demographic, has been a near tidal wave.
That's the power of social media marketing. Not only does it help you target your demographic, but it also helps you communicate your message directly to them. It allows marketers to effectively carpet bomb one specific sector of the public--just the people who they believe are most interested in their message.
'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' opens this weekend, so we won't have long to wait to see just how effective their social media marketing campaign has been, but so far, the signs point to a big win for the studio.