March is the month of the Oscars and the International Women's Day. HBO plans to leverage these events to get movie buffs glued on to the channel through the month. Beginning March 1, HBO's 'Oscar Marathon' will feature 32 movies - along with an Oscar-winning and an Oscar-nominated movie every week - Mondays through Fridays, till the Awards night (March 23).
"Following the huge success of The Mummy earlier this year, we have lined up a lethal combination of volume and quality to celebrate the Oscars. This is sure to result in a stunning treat for HBO viewers," says James P. Marturano, managing director, HBO South Asia.
While the academy award winning movies (which are 16 in number) will be shown every night at 9:30 pm during the Oscar Marathon - The Winners, the nominations will be screened in various categories that precede The Winners, in Oscar Marathon - The Nominees. The first of the Oscar winning movies in the marathon is Steven Spielberg's 1975 hit Jaws that won the Oscars for best sound, best editing and best music score. Other Oscar movies lined for the month include Witness, An Officer and a Gentleman, Spartacus, Top Gun, Babe, The Ten Commandments, The Accused, The Godfather Part II, Ghost, Sleepy Hollow and Sense And Sensibility.
While the 'Starry Nights' slot have been reserved for the Oscar movies, March 8 would be an exception. A whole range of movies for women has been slotted between 6.00 am and late afternoon. The celebration begins with Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, an American classic about four Massachusetts sisters during the Civil War, starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon. The other movies lined for the day are Boys on the Side, Grace of my Heart, Eye for an Eye, Double Jeopardy and Breakfast At Tiffany's.
The new initiative is part of HBO's effort to bring the latest blockbusters to spur viewership for the channel. Currently HBO enjoys a viewership of 15 million households in India and has certainly derived a lot of mileage from the hugely promoted The Mummy. "Successful movies such as The Mummy reinforce the image and the values of the brand. The Mummy, which was aired on HBO on January 12, was very well received by the viewers. If ratings is one indicator to go by - The Mummy had notched up a television rating point (TRP) of 3.41. The movie also featured in the list of Top 100 television programmes for the week ended January 13, 2002. This was the highest for any English feature film in the last two years (according to TAM report for C&S homes in nine cities for the 15-plus age group)," says Marturano.
Part of the brand building exercise involved showcasing award-winning programmes and special concerts. "Band Of Brothers won the best mini-series or motion picture made for television at the 59th annual Golden Globe Awards held in Los Angeles. Moreover we have been doing special concerts with some of the most popular music stars concerts - Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Madonna," adds Marturano. Some of the concerts lined up for the year would feature U2, N'Sync, Westlife to name a few.
HBO brings these Hollywood movies in South Asia through exclusive licensing deals with four major Hollywood studios - Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia/ TriStar), Universal and Warner Bros (including New Line Cinema). © 2002 agencyfaqs!