The movie was created as a collaboration of Walt Disney Pictures, Roth Films, and the Moving Picture Company (MPC). It was released on the 50th anniversary of the first Sleeping Beauty Disney creation’s screening. It features the “untold story” of Sleeping Beauty; the reasons why Maleficient turned to evil. Featuring famous actors and actresses, such as Angelina Jolie, directed by Robert Stromberg, cost an estimated 180.000.000 dollars to make. As of June 18th, it has produced a revenue of 170.5 million dollars. Hanson would certainly argue that the sexualization of characters in the movie makes the movie stereotyping. Indeed, as Hanson states, in several movies and commercials, women appear “vulnerable and overly sexual”. Considering that the main target audience of the movie is young people, it is possible that it has a negative impact on watchers’ sexual socialization.
Disney Store items were made available on the website and in retail stores following the release of the movie. Further, a mobile/android app and a game was created using the characters of the movie. I tunes is currently marketing Free Fall game, and character dolls have been created. Barbie has also created a doll and accessories for the characters; Aurora and Maleficient. Further, roadshows and premier appearances of Angelina Jolie in different countries have also created awareness of the movie worldwide.
Social media engagement was limited; the movie’s Facebook page has little over 3000 fans, while Twitter mentions had a much greater impact. Movies, individuals, film-makers, critics, and magazine editors shared tweets about the movie. The reviews were featured on Yahoo movies, daily newspaper sites, movie sites, such as Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic.
Effectiveness of mass communication
The creators of Maleficient managed to create a media awareness about the movie through press releases, trailers on YouTube, and social media. McDonald’s also released a Happy Meal toy featuring Maleficient.
It is evident that the right targeting of the audience (rated G or 12 in various countries), the cast, and the visual effects have contributed towards the success of Maleficient. While the movie mostly targeted children and young adults, it was created to be suitable for all audiences. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (23), the exposure of children to screen media is constantly growing. Peer pressure is also important in schools when it comes to cinema and latest movies. While in 1999 young people watched 18 minutes of movies a day, this grew to 25 minutes by 2004. The influence of “Tastemakers” has a great impact on movies’ success. Therefore, the initial thesis statement of the paper has been confirmed. Movies also shape the culture of the society. Lule (355) states that “The effect of early mass-communication media was to wear away regional differences and create a more homogenized, standardized culture”.
Hansen, R. “Mass Communication: Living in a Media World” 4th Edition. 2013. Print.
IMDB Website. 2014. Web.
Kaiser Family Foundation “Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Years-olds”. 2005. Web.
Lule, R. “Understanding Media and Culture” 2011. Web.