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Opening Weekend - An Insider's Look at Marketing Hollywood's Hits and Flops

Opening Weekend

An Insider's Look at Marketing Hollywood's Hits and Flops

By Jim Fredrick
Hardcover : 9781496853387, 352 pages, 121 color illustrations, October 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-10-15

Table of contents

Cold Open

Act 1
A Foot in the Door
What’s a Trailer?
My First
“Where Are My Balls?”
Main Title Design
Jack Nicholson
Guardians at the Editing Room Door
The Client

Act 2
Opportunity Knocks
Breaking Ankles
Nobody Knows Anything
Flying Elvises
Lose the Cigar
You Can’t Handle the Truth!
The Golf Club Room
The Winning Streak
The Independents
Before The West Wing
Selling Shakespeare
Sex Sells
Hugh, Elizabeth, Organ Abduction

Act 3
The Studio
The New Kid in Town
One Creepy Showman
Robert De Niro: Comedian
Everybody’s Problem
Becoming Kubrick
Smart Sharks
Playability vs. Marketability
Farewell to the Kings
Desert Warfare
Star Power
Is the Customer Always Right?
The Battle for Opening Weekend
The Assignment of a Lifetime
Disaster at the Box Office
The Old Switcheroo
The Producers from Hell
Alfonso Cuarón
Clint Sweeps the Oscars
Tim Burton’s Double Feature
Don’t Blow It!
Intermission: A Word about Money
Dancing Penguins
Swords and Sandals
The Franchise
Studio Politics
Quiet Quitting

Act 4
Now What?
Back to Work
Culture Shock
The Channing Factor
A Star Is Born
You’re Fired!

Creative Commons Licenses

Coming soon, the firsthand account of a studio insider’s adventures in movie marketing


In a world where movie marketers are the stars of the story, Opening Weekend: An Insider's Look at Marketing Hollywood's Hits and Flops recounts Jim Fredrick’s journey through the realm of movie marketing. Fredrick offers readers exclusive access to behind-the-scenes anecdotes and firsthand accounts of working with studio executives and navigating relationships with famous movie stars and directors.

After starting his career in 1983 as a trailer editor and producer at famed advertising boutique Intralink, Jim Fredrick went on to serve as president of marketing at Castle Rock Entertainment; senior vice-president of creative advertising at Warner Bros.; and executive vice-president of marketing at Sony Screen Gems. In 2011, he founded his own company, Jim Fredrick Motion Picture Marketing.

Across a span of thirty-five years, Fredrick’s roles as a trailer maker and studio executive allowed him to craft advertising campaigns for a range of movies, from such iconic cinematic gems as The Shawshank Redemption to the widely beloved Harry Potter franchise, to commercial failures like The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Fired Up! Opening Weekend explores the intricacies of the lesser-known business of film distribution and marketing, unraveling the complex mechanisms through which movies are sold to discriminating audiences. Replete with triumphs, setbacks, and the relentless spirit that drives the creation and promotion of cinematic masterpieces, Opening Weekend promises an enthralling glimpse into the previously untold world of Hollywood movies.


"The early days of Castle Rock were the most creatively fulfilling years of my life, and Jim Fredrick was a big part of that. He ran our marketing department and even made our stinker films look good. If you want to know what it takes to market a film, Opening Weekend is a must-read."

- Rob Reiner

"Opening Weekend is the preeminent book on film marketing and what it takes to persuade and beguile the moviegoing audience. This oral history of Jim’s adventures is an honest, entertaining account of his career creating advertising campaigns for a wide variety of films, including The Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, Happy Feet, and the Harry Potter franchise. It's a must-read for moviegoers of all ages, as well as film students and scholars."

- Alan Horn, former chairman of the Walt Disney Studios and president/COO of Warner Bros.

"Long before reading his book, I told Jim to title it Putting Asses in the Seats. Wisely, he ignored me. Having now read it, I have to say Opening Weekend perfectly captures the anxiety, exaltation, and soul-crushing dread of film marketing. Whether it be the hair-pulling frustration of failing to sell a great movie, or the moral colonoscopy endured trying to sell a stinker, this book gives both the show biz pro and the civilian movie lover an inside look at the incredible, multimillion-dollar crap shoot that is big-time moviemaking. When I finished Opening Weekend, I said a quiet prayer, thanking God I work in television."

- Chuck Lorre, television producer