TOTAL FILM: AN EXPERT’S VIEW

Michael Cohen wonders if Total Film is too trendy to stick to its current format.

Michael Cohen wonders if Total Film is too trendy to stick to its

current format.



Total Film - a great title for a movie magazine. Sounds like good news

for cinemagoers. But is it?



There are now four monthly movie magazines with an average cover price

of pounds 2.50. Empire was first into the market in 1989, aimed at the

mass-market consumer of Hollywood movies. Then, in 1992, Premiere

launched, appealing to movie buffs. In the past six months, Neon was

launched for the hip, young market and now there’s Total Film, which

looks very much like a Loaded for laddish cinema goers.



But Total Film defies its readers to glean very much from its

content.



It has a messy, cluttered editorial layout. In the few pages devoted to

Rough Cut - movie gossip and chit chat - the number of subjects it tries

to include does not allow for in-depth coverage. The info-burst section,

in contrast, which summarises a film’s pros and cons, was particularly

well done and easy to use.



So whether you’re high-brow, mid-brow, low-brow or just brow-beaten,

there’s a magazine for you. But can all these titles survive in the

market?



Neon and the Total Film will have to bolster their circulation figures

and a lot will depend on the advertising support they get from lifestyle

brands targeting the youth market.



However, the audience for movies is there and growing. But unlike Empire

and Premiere’s mainstream and sedate approach, Neon and Total Film

suffer, I think, because they are a product of the times and will need

to keep reinventing themselves to appeal to a target audience that is

ever-changing and discards fashion styles, pop stars and condoms with

consummate ease.



Time will tell.



Michael Cohen, a movie buff, is an account director at K Advertising.



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