Proud Mary starring Taraji P. Henson opened to low numbers, and media outlets are blaming it on Screen Gems lack of marketing.
According to Forbes, Proud Mary made $9.9 million Fri-Sun/$12m Fri-Mon weekend gross from about 2200 theaters.
What went wrong?
The film opened without previews through its Screen Gems label amid forecasts in the $13 million to $16 million range. The film was also not screened for critics.
Perhaps Screen Gems’ other missteps included not relying on Henson’s star power enough, which is likely the only thing that has carried the film at all, and grossly underestimating the power of social media.
Social media, and Black Twitter especially, have demonstrated how much influence African Americans have, and it might have benefited the film if Screen Gems had leaned into it more. Sure, having Henson do the traditional Good Morning America and Late Night interviews with any given white man is important, but Henson’s core audience is on Twitter. All you have to do is look at the #ProudMary hashtag to see how hard they’re campaigning for the movie to do well. It’s where fellow celebrities like Ava DuVernay and Octavia Spencer have also chosen to share their endorsement of the film. The @ProudMaryMovie Twitter page only has 3,476 followers and is only following 7 people. Its only engagement with fans was a Twitter Q&A, which Henson hosted on Sony Picture’s Twitter page. Everything else is just promo of the same trailer that was released last year and the handful of interviews Henson has done since. The movie’s Instagram has similar content with only 6,380 followers.
What do you think? Was Proud Mary marketed properly? Do you go see it?