Do Big Names Sell Movie Premieres?
Movie premieres have progressively become an integral part of our movie industry and its interest has crept into the minds of movie lovers within a very short period of time. Recently, movies after movies have witnessed a number of press previews which are subsequently followed by grand premieres.
The press preview is aimed at giving the press (friends from the media) the opportunity to actually have a first hand information about the movie, pass criticisms and various observations about the movie for the public to know what exactly they will be paying their hard earned money to watch when finally the day of the grand premiere comes.
It is no surprising that movie producers have recognized the value of the Silverbird Cinema, the National theatre and the Conference centre and have made numerous movie premieres there. But as to whether it's every movie producer who premieres his movies at these places that gets the number of fans he/ she expects or not is the issue I want to look at.
As at this year alone premieres in the capital have been challenging, funny, worthwhile and interesting. Whiles some producers have become house names and need no introduction or a lot of noise in publicising their movie premieres even though a few underground works are done, others are struggling very hard to make uncountable number of radio, TV and print adverts to ensure they get the desired number of movie lovers to attend their movie premieres.
We have seen the premiere of Scorned, Shakira, Perfect Picture, Who loves me, Double, Honey Coochi Coochi love, Kiss me if you can and many others at the national theatre, Silverbird and the Conference centre but which of these movies made the greater number of people; and if it did, was it about the quality of the movie, the characters involved or the mere name behind that production house?
To begin with, Abdul Sallam Mumuni and Shirley Frimpong Manso have no doubt in the industry carved a niche for themselves and will even risk their lives in using word by mouth to send a premiere information to fans and will still make money out of the premiere. (if not 90percent, they will get 150 out of expected 200 people)
Abdul Sallam Mumuni is best known for his show of glamour and star-stud characters in his productions but sometimes keep playing on the intelligence of Movie lovers with his somewhat the same storylines which some people are sick and tired of already. Most of his premieres have seen a lot of fans thronged to the venue either to meet and interact with their favourite characters in the movie or for the sake of the name of the production house. The various criticisms from patrons about his movies after premiere do not really say anything interesting about the storyline but the actors and actresses who stared in the movie.
Shriley Frimpong Manso over the few years of her existence has produced several movies that is capable of matching the international standard if not one of the Hollywood movies to her credit. She has in no doubt made some unknown faces stars now. Isn't that the mark of a professional? Her name runs on the lips of movie enthusiast who make sure her premieres are fully packed to capacity.
The likes of Ghana's own stage comedian Kwaku Sitim Missah has also paid his dues and his movie 'Double' eventhough no much noise was made about the premiere, it was able to win it way in the hearts of movie lovers. I wasn't too astounded by the comments of people after the premiere. We all should know K.S.M is a force to reckon with and he coming out with nothing below the mark of a profession is what he would consider first before even going on set.
Actor, Producer Ruffy Samuel Quansah also after numerous movies to his credit gathered the courage to add his name to movie premiere list when he premiered 'Honey Choochi Choochi love' which featured Nigerian screen goddess Tonto Dike. Even though the turnout wasn't really as massive as it could have been (perhaps he is not one of the house names in movie premieres) the few patrons present did enjoy the movie and passed out some positive comments about the movie.
Bow to my question, there is one reason why I don’t believe names should be the prime reason why people attend premieres as it has been noticed for some occasions now. I had the opportunity of watching the trailer of the movie, 'Kiss me if you can' and criticised fervidly the producer of the movie for their ill-sense of overused of nudity and explicit scenes in the movie. I wasn't able to watch the press preview of the movie for one or two reasons but was privileged to attend the grand premiere of the movie and till now that I put my biro on my paper to write this article, I still hold the opinion that names should not be reason for movie premieres.
At the beginning when I got to the venue it was the normal sight of low movie premiere attendance and the question that I asked myself was, 'is this not one of Shirley's or the Abdul's movie premieres?' until my colleague prompted me that this is the premiere of 'kiss me if you can' and not 'Perfect picture' or 'Beyonce'. My initial perception was however proven wrong when I finally entered the auditorium to have a look at the movie and the attendance.
I must say I was so impressed with the attendance considering the fact that the movie was written and directed by a young and ambitious man who has only had his first hand directing on a movie. As for what I finally found out by watching the movie I was compelled to rescind my initial comments and criticisms I made about the movie but the very scenes that I saw in the trailer were still in the movie so the least said about my rescinding, the better. That is to say I still hold the opinion that most of the scenes could have been best interpreted even though I gathered from watching the movie that they played vital part of the movie.
And for the first time I also saw good performances at a movie premiere. I was so impressed about the premiere and it memories I am sure will still linger on. To the production team I say good work done. And to the young Director Kobi Rana, I say kudos and more grease to your elbows.
I can bet with my last coin (even though a have a few of the redenomination coins left in pocket) that if any of these ruling names, Shirley Frimpong Manso, Abdul Sallam Mumuni, and K.S.M even decide to cough or assemble a galaxy of stars or amateur actors and actresses to only whisper sound on CDs, people will definitely dig out money from their pockets and make it to their premiere and buy the movie. Movie premieres are becoming an avenue for producers to make their monies even before the release of the movie but I humbly ask again, do names premiere movies?
By: Cleff Justic Maxwell