On September 23, 1994, the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, was released to the world. Adapted from a short story by legendary author Stephen King, the feature film centered on a pair of imprisoned men. The film, based in a prison but built on the idea of friendship, hope, and dreams, was nominated for seven Oscars and won more than a dozen awards. The film was immediately a critic’s favorite. Over 20 years later, The Shawshank Redemption is now considered one of the greatest movies of all time. In fact, it’s ranked as the best movie in cinematic history on well-known and respected website Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), ahead of the likes of The Godfather; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; and Schindler’s List. Another movie came out that year. The Flintstones, a live-action remake of the 1960s cartoon show, starred John Goodman, Rick Moranis, and Rosie O’Donnell. The Flintstones, perhaps needless to say, was not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. “It falls flatter than a granite slab,” noted a national film critic. Though the filmwas praised for its costume and set design, it also won “Razzie Award” for Worst Female Performance and Worst Screenplay, and was a nominee for Worst Movie of 1994. Its IMDb.com user reviews are roughly half of what The Shawshank Redemption receives, and it’s rated by users as one of the worst movies of the 1990s. A team of salespeople masterfully marketed The Flintstones to its targeted demographics. The result? The film grossed $131 million in the U.S. and $358 million worldwide. That’s the power of targeted marketing. On the flip side, the people at Universal Studios, who promoted The Shawshank Redemption , admitted they couldn’t figure out how to sell the movie to the public. They had a great product; they just didn’t know how to sell it. It grossed only $28 million in the U.S. box office and $60 million worldwide. It ranked 51st in box office success in 1994—two spots behind In the Army Now , starring Pauly Shore.
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