The Best Movies of 2012 and the Ad Campaigns That Got Them There

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
July 26th, 2012

The Best Movies of 2012 and the Ad Campaigns That Got Them There

-- The year 2012 has been a big one for movies. Audiences and critics have spent the first six months of the year anticipating several remakes and film franchise reboots. However, a few films that have been released in 2012 have out-shined other releases so far.

"The Avengers"
"The Avengers" was released in April 2012. The film was highly anticipated by both fans of the comic book series and critics. The film was an instant success and made over $200 million on its opening weekend. Tickets were selling out for the film before it was released in theaters. "The Avengers" is the largest grossing film of 2012 so far.

The film was appealing for several reasons. Many fans of the comic book series were excited to see what filmmaker Joss Whedon would do with the storyline. The film featured several well-known actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson. The marketing campaign for the film featured a series of tie-in comics, as well as presentations at the New York Comic-Con convention and the Comic-Con International Convention held in San Diego.

"Moonrise Kingdom"
Wes Anderson projects are a pleasant surprise for many audience members and critics. Anderson has been praised for his inventive work as a director and his imagination as a writer. In May 2012, "Moonrise Kingdom" was released to theaters. The film has done relatively well. Critics and viewers have given the film mostly positive reviews.

The film is a dramatic comedy and stars a variety of actors, such as Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Bruce Willis. "Moonrise Kingdom" is a love story that takes place in 1965 between two children. The film was been praised for its inventive storyline, direction and acting.

The ad campaign for the film featured an animated short of young actress Kara Hayward reading from the fictional children's book that is featured in the film. After the film was released, the ad campaign continued with an illustration in the "New Yorker" created by Adrian Tomine.

Released in February 2012, "Chronicle" takes the superhero genre and adds a twist. The film did relatively well at the box office and was praised by both audiences and critics for the inventive storyline and acting.

The film was written by Max Landis and is about three teenaged boys who obtain superpowers from a strange object. The film follows the boys as they gain more powers and start changing. In the United States, the film grossed over $64 million at the box office.

"Chronicle" starred actors Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan and Alex Russell.

A marketing campaign for the film was released in early January 2012 and was featured during an NFL football game. During the game, a QR Code was flashed on screen. Viewers could scan the code and view footage of the film on their smartphones.

"Prometheus" was released in June 2012. The film was considered a prequel to the film "Alien." The film received positive reviews from critics as well as audience members. "Prometheus" starred Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce. The film was directed by Ridley Scott.
In February 2012, a viral campaign for the film was released. The campaign featured Guy Pearce appearing as his character in the film. He talks about his view of the future and is set in 2023. At the 2012 WonderCon convention, people were provided with a card that featured a phone number. When a person called the number, he or she was sent a text message that would link him or her to the next viral video.
"Prometheus" has been nominated for two Golden Trailer Awards.

"The Hunger Games"
"The Hunger Games" was released in March 2012. Fans of the "The Hunger Games" trilogy anticipated the first film of the series for months. Many fans and critics discussed who should play which role in the film several months before casting had even started. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson.

The film was a success before it was officially released. Theaters were selling out tickets for it weeks before the release. On sites such as and, the film sold out in over 4,300 showings across the United States.

Months before the release date of the film, posters were released that featured the main characters of the film. Lionsgate, the film studio that released "Hunger Games" also launched several other ad campaigns in the weeks leading up to the film's release date. Fans anticipating the film could enter contests on Facebook, as well as participate in a scavenger hunt via Twitter. Short teaser trailers were also released, and a website was set up where visitors could make digital ID cards like the ones featured in the book and film.