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What Hollywood Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Product Launches

Have you ever thought about how big blockbuster movie releases can generate $100s Millions of dollars in the box offices and upwards of 50 million in just one weekend?

The question is, how do they do it? Think about it for a few minutes…

They sell a low-ticket item, movie tickets. The average cost at the theaters is about $8 and the studios only get a fraction of that. If it’s a family movie like the latest Pixar or Disney movie then you also have merchandising which can make even more money than the movie itself.

The reason they make so much money is the pre-launch hype. The pre-launch is everything when it comes to movie releases.

The Pre-Launch Hype Is EVERYTHING

The stars of the movie are picked because of their appeal and ability to play the parts. However, their fan-base is a major attraction to the moviegoers.

Take for example the Expendables 2 Movie that was just released. This had every action star of the last 2 decades. From Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Jet-Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van-Damme… the list went on and on… Massive appeal.

Then there is the rumor mill… they release just a little information about what is coming up so the bloggers start speculating and talking about the new release. The interest and excitement builds.

Next, there are the press releases, magazine interviews, TV interviews in the leading weeks up to release. You start seeing the movie stars and stories about them everywhere… they are building mass interest.

Finally, the premier… all the stars gather in one place and show the movie to all the press in a private screening. The press then writes and speaks about the movie, gives it a rating and again, this is shown to the public to build interest and hype. People pay attention to these reviews from trusted sources…

Once the movie is released there is the post release interviews and more magazine, TV interviews etc. This keeps the interest going as long as possible until the next movie takes over in it’s launch cycle…

How This Can Help You With Your Next Launch

So how can this help your product launch? As you may see there are a lot of parallels to an Infopreneurs product launch… Think about these for yourself next time you are getting ready to launch:

  1. First, what is your market appeal? Are you a star? Build your brand and authority and selling will be much easier because people buy the trust and brand and not just the product.
  2. Start your own rumor mill in your market. You don’t have to give away a lot of information just that there is something incredible coming… This builds on your brand and anticipation.
  3. Start ramping up interviews with experts and authority figure in your industry. Create and distribute press-releases, etc. Get other bloggers talking to their audiences, guest posts etc.
  4. You also want your JV partners talking and promoting and pre-launch content you have like pre-launch videos that give sneak-peeks and build up mass interest.
  5. Give your JV partners review access like a movie premier so they can get a detailed look and start really reviewing your product and telling their list all about it…
  6. Don’t be afraid of incentivizing the pre-launch hype. A little ethical bribery goes a long way to get your message out there. Offer JV’s reciprocal mailings or preferential commissions. If your JVs have large lists and audiences these are the people you want to develop relationships and friendships with.


As you can see there are a lot of parallels between Hollywood and what you may do as a product launch, even if you have a low-ticket or high-ticket item. The pre-launch can really impact everything you do and your ultimate success.

What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions on this… Let me know in the comments below.


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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Thanks so much for your knowledge and your willingness to share.

  2. Interesting post, Sean! I'm editing a novel to self publish it at the end of the year. It's about the overpopulation problem and how it could be solved. My aim is to raise people’s consciousness about this problem and why it is important that we solve it ASAP! How would you apply the prelaunch formula here?

    • Cashuarina Goldberg

      OK, congrats to you for this endeavor, dear Tom! Would be nice to know what Sean Donahoe has to say about this!

    • Yeah, I hope he reads this some day…. before the end of the year, LOL!

    • Interesting question… first, get press releases out for the book to get links out there. Next contact radio stations in your field… give the first chapter away free on a squeeze page and get people opted in on a waiting list for pre-orders. Get them to review it on their blogs…

      This will start a pre-buzz and then you can incentivize pre-orders by giving something of extra value away to pre-order the book when it is posted on Amazon or somewhere like that. Then come launch day… media buys, see about getting more radio stations, more give-aways to incentivize ordering the book NOW etc..

      Hopefully that will help you 🙂

      All the best


    • Cashuarina Goldberg

      Nice share, dear Sean, quick question: how could you approach JV partners in order to help you?

  3. Cashuarina Goldberg

    OK, congrats to you for this endeavor, dear Tom Urbanek! Would be nice to know what Sean Donahoe has to say about this!

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