: Will HBO’s $100 million marketing push behind ‘House of the Dragon’ pay off?

by | Aug 21, 2022 | Stock Market

HBO is betting hundreds of millions of dollars that “House of the Dragon,” the “Game of Thrones” prequel series that premieres Sunday night, will be a massive hit. According to a report Friday by Deadline, HBO is spending $100 million on a massive marketing push for the new show, its largest-ever marketing campaign. That’s on top of the roughly $200 million spent on the show itself, about double the budget of “Game of Thrones” seasons; Variety reported in April that each of the 10 episodes of “House of the Dragon” cost under $20 million.

In a memo to staffers last week, which was obtained by Deadline and other outlets, Warner Bros. Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav said the “unprecedented” cross-promotional marketing campaign had already reached 130 million Americans, touting the series as “what looks to be the next big cultural moment.” The new series takes place about 200 years before the action of “Game of Thrones,” and tells the story of a civil war that tears apart the Targaryen dynasty. Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke and Milly Alcock lead a sprawling cast, which will ultimately include 17 computer-generated dragons. “Game of Thrones” lasted eight seasons, won 59 Emmy Awards and was HBO’s most popular show — and arguably the most popular on TV at the time — averaging 44 million viewers across all platforms in its final season. No one’s expecting those sorts of numbers for “House of the Dragon” — yet, at least. While “Game of Thrones” ended with a thud, with an ending that disappointed many viewers, “House of the Dragon” seems to be generating excitement among many of those same fans. Early reviews from critics have been mixed, but generally positive. The series debuts Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO and HBO Max. The stakes are high for HBO, which is planning four additional live-action We …

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