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FEATURE While Entertainment knew a 12A trailer

would increase eyeballs and build word of mouth, the film itself had to be classified 15 in order to retain the series’ brash sense of humour and reach its core demographic. The team worked closely with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in a short time period to ensure it made the grade: “I was pleasantly surprised with how little we had to change. We had to make a few cuts to [one] scene, but what struck me about the BBFC response was that they all clearly enjoyed the film,” said Young. Nearer the time of release, it became clear

the movie had promising crossover appeal: “After a number of non-commercial previews for four different age groups, it was fascinating that the ratings from the under-25 women were higher than the response from the under- 25 males. That quadrant gave the film its best rating and there was even an argument among girls and boys at a focus group about who the film was aimed at,” remembers Young. Dating was key. Going up against Para-

mount’s big-budget, sci-fi actioner Cowboys & Aliens was a daunting prospect. But according to Young, there was never any doubt in distrib- utor Green’s mind: “Nigel chose the date in March in the belief people would move away from us [which was true of at least one film of considerably higher budget]. He was not con- cerned about Cowboys & Aliens, which he believed would appeal more to the male over- 25 demographic. In saying that, their cam- paign started much earlier than ours. Our campaign was very front-loaded. We looked at their heavy marketing and wondered whether it would wipe us out. I didn’t imagine the con- trary would be the case.” The August 17 launch meant the f ilm

entered after the summer’s key US debuts but still capitalised on the summer holidays and even coincided with students getting their A-level and GCSE results. That timing also meant a December 12 DVD release date, allow- ing a perfect run at Christmas. While advance reviews were unlikely to

dent the film’s success thanks to its inbuilt fanbase, Entertainment took the decision not to do any press screenings, which eliminated any chance of the film being hurt early by neg- ative reviews. The Wednesday August 17 preview launch

Have you seen

‘There was even an argument among girls and boys at a focus group about who the film

was aimed at’ Christopher Young, producer, pictured above left on set

benefitted from the UK’s Orange Wednesdays, a two-for-one tickets scheme offered by the mobile-phone company. An estimated 500,000 people went to see the film in one day, exclud- ing the plus ones from the scheme. On its first day, the film took a cool $4m (£2.6m), a haul greater than last year’s biggest UK production, StreetDance 3D, managed from its first week- end and previews combined. After its first weekend, the film had taken a

whopping $20.5m (£13.2m) and by the end of its fourth weekend was poised to join the UK’s top 30 films of all time. It has become Enter- tainment’s fourth-biggest film behind The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The Inbetweeners Movie opened on 453 screens, rose to 486 in its third week and was still playing in a week-high 475 screens on its fourth weekend. The adherence to a tried and trusted for-

mula, in addition to a broader scope, new ele- ments such as a Mike Skinner soundtrack, and a number of savvy marketing and distribution

moves, all contributed to the film’s roaring UK success. But will the comedy translate abroad? “We’re confident in the film, we feel it can

travel,” says Young. Sales outfit IM Global has closed deals with Germany (Square One), France (French Connection), Australia (Vil- lage Roadshow), Canada (Maple), Italy (Eagle Pictures), Spain (Aurum) and Scandinavia (Nordisk) and is in talks with US distributors (a US TV version is currently in production, due to air on MTV). The next theatrical open- ing is in Australia on November 20. As for a part two, Young is sanguine: “If

there is a sequel it will come from the creative elements, of course. Everyone is downplaying the sequel but I’m sure Damon and Ian will be thinking about writing a sequel. We’ve talked about it. In the short term people are dispers- ing and doing other things but I’m sure in the medium term a sequel is very possible. It won’t be immediate but it’s definitely not closed.” Watch this space. n



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n 12 Screen International at the AFM November 4, 2011

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