Michael Cohen wonders if Total Film is too trendy to stick to its
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
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
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
Time will tell.
Michael Cohen, a movie buff, is an account director at K Advertising.