This story first appeared in the June 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Wonder why most big movie premieres are being held in New York this summer? Blame Jimmy Fallon. NBC’s Tonight Show move from Burbank to Rockefeller Center in February (and ratings bump) has made the Big Apple ground zero for promotional opportunities on nearly all morning, daytime and late-night TV shows. This is particularly true in the summer, when L.A.’s Ellen DeGeneres Show often is dark.
Since April, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X Men: Days of Future Past, The Fault in Our Stars and Edge of Tomorrow all bypassed Los Angeles for New York premieres. And on June 25, Paramount will fete Transformers: Age of Extinction in New York rather than Westwood, site of previous Transformers blowouts.
Another reason for the trend is scheduling. With the rise of foreign markets, talent and executives often are coming from international junkets and screenings, so holding a premiere in New York makes sense. (Still, throwing a premiere there can add $50,000 to the bill, which generally is north of $150,000 in L.A.) “We are probably doing double the number of premieres in New York than we did three or four years ago,” says Craig Waldman, founder of events production company 15/40, which staged the Spider-Man 2 event and will handle Age of Extinction.
One studio that sticks close to home is Disney, holding its premieres at the Disney-owned El Capitan in Hollywood (and its stars often then appear on sister network ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which tapes next door). But Waldman agrees the Fallon move — coupled with ratings that are up 34 percent compared to Jay Leno‘s in the 18-to-49 demo, which summer movies target — has solidified New York’s appeal: “I would say that 30 percent to 40 percent of all premieres are in New York now.”