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What Makes A24 Films Successful

A24's Everything Everywhere All at Once Hot Dog Hands

Acclaimed films gathering mass popularity including Hereditary, Midsommar, and Everything Everywhere All at Once, each have one common denominator: a distributor with enough sense to produce an entertaining story. A24 provides an edge that makes their films more successful than competitors. Most independent and non-independent distributors have triumphed in following a standard formulaic structure. A dated approach that only focuses on exhausted concepts that ‘work’ with minimal promotional campaigns. This method has essentially watered down any form of quality and glamour that once prevailed; failing to bring in a wider audience. A24 has found a way around the norm to stand out amongst the crowd. The unique qualities implemented into every film produced and distributed aren’t the only distinguishable traits. Delving into wildly eccentric marketing strategies and fueling the culture that allows their fanbase to thrive has provided A24 with enough gumption to become a highly distinguishable, iconic brand.

The effort and endurance allocated towards each project overseen is why A24 outshines competing film production companies. Founded by three accomplished avid film lovers, the passion placed into the entertainment company’s vision warrants their chart-topping success. Their brand’s devotion to facilitating enamoring stories and employing distinctive (and never-before-seen) strategies garners A24’s edge. Currently untouchable by other movie studios, the company’s efficient master plan will continue reinforcing its top standing.

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The Founding of A24

The studio’s zealous founders can largely be attributed to what distinguishes A24 from other film production companies. Three film industry veterans started A24, all with like-minded adoration surrounding movies—those that utilize a unique perspective to convey a captivating story. David Fenkel, John Hodges, and Daniel Katz banded together in 2012 to create an entertainment company to reinvent the independent game. In the process, they created a brand that garnered an audience with the same particular pictorial fondness. Having the knowledge and devotion necessary to become leaders in the industry, it was only a matter of time before they broke away from the crowd. However, fame, admiration, and approval don’t always come without a few hiccups.

A Controversial Beginning

A24's First Movie A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III

Entering the production realm, A24 distributed its first movie, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (February 2013). Starring controversial actor Charlie Sheen, the story follows Swan, a creatively burnt-out graphic designer troubled by a break-up. Utilizing Sheen’s disputable likeness to their advantage, many of the qualities of his character, Charles, are elevated beyond initial intent. However, the movie’s overall audience reception was far from what A24 had set out to receive. Criticized for a narratively exhausting plot, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III amassed a generally unfavorable rating. Starting on a negative can be challenging to overcome, yet, what makes A24 films successful is their relentless nature.

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Despite opening their studio with a negative showing, A24 didn’t stray from their original faith. Immediately producing another film the month after, Ginger & Rosa (March 2013), the persistent distribution company began to catch its stride. This coming-of-age drama acquired several awards at various film festivals for its tremendous plot and wonderful acting. Although Ginger & Rosa was a major win for the studio, it wasn’t their biggest. Debuting on the same day in March of 2013, the iconic comedy crime classic Spring Breakers took over theaters, and eventually, the world.

A24’s Early Film Success

A24 Hit Breakout Film Spring Breakers Starring Selena Gomez

Catapulting A24 into the rat race of becoming a household movie studio name, Spring Breakers garnered worldwide attention. Depicting controversial ‘taboo’ hedonistic subject areas largely backed and praised by a younger (more ‘hip’) audience, the studio and creative team were able to pull in a whirlwind of viewers. This edge wasn’t the only effort working in their favor; the film was able to cast some rather highly recognized names in Hollywood. By starring celebrities including James Franco, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgins, already strongly backed fanbases were a shoo-in to turn-out. Audiences were cleverly guided toward the hit Spring Breakers film, and it provided A24 a great foundation for showing viewers the brand’s identity.

Taking a game-changing marketing approach unlike others at the time, A24 promoted the film cleverly through social media. Taking a picture of the cast staged as the famous Last Supper painting, the studio caught fire. Blowing up on Instagram through a single post could broadcast their release on a grandiose scale. Gaining more than half a million likes at the time, Spring Breakers became a must-see for everyone who came across the post. Despite clever marketing bringing viewers in, the true reasoning behind what makes A24 films successful lies in the stories they invest in producing.

Challenging The Norm

The niche qualities that define the company’s projects are what make A24 films successful. The studio’s movies are notably recognized for their unique storytelling and wonderful cinematic direction. Taking a familiar story and taking a new approach toward a well-recognized idea captures a unique perspective on a tale that could be as old as time. Every film that A24 decides to produce and distribute proposes a distinctive tale that subverts the usual or expected experience. By approaching a narrative in this sense, the production company captures lesser-recognized concepts and cutting-edge takes on dire issues and dilemmas. Utilizing this original, avant-garde approach to producing these niche stories, has catapulted A24 into a position that facilitates some of the best films of the time.  

A24’s Best Films

Enemy 2013 A24 Film Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

After their substantial success with Spring Breakers, A24 would go on to increase their various options for expansion. Taking up multiple deals, including DirecTV and Amazon Prime, the film distribution studio began to lengthen its horizons. This resulted in the psychological thriller Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, being offered to viewers before theatrical release. This decision raised both interest in the film and the company partnered with. Being advantageous and delving down different pathways to gain a wider audience, A24 continued to reach new heights. Taking risks led to A24 amassing a collection of prolific movies to their portfolio. Introducing outstanding films such as Dream Scenario, Mid90s, and Bodies Bodies Bodies to the movie scene, it’s hard to fathom they have other cinematic triumphs far superior in their filmography.

A24 has facilitated the distribution of more than several outstanding motion pictures following their initial releases. Carefully deliberating each project, they never miss the mark on delivering a remarkable story. However, some have managed to rise beyond others, cementing themselves as some of the greatest movies ever. In March 2022, the hit absurdist comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once premiered at SXSW, and the rest was history. Amassing a box office gross of $144.4M, winning countless historical cinematic accolades, and leaving behind a tremendous legacy/cultural impact, this genius work of art rose to the top of A24’s distribution list. This is an astounding feat comparable to most of the all-time highest-grossing films ever. It’s especially significant when recognizing the unique perspective most of the narratives A24 movies entail. Not to mention, the studio falls under an independent status, yet it still rivals powerhouse conglomerates in the field.

A24’s Film Success Signifies a Positive Future

A24 Studios The Iron Claw Film

The calculated high-risk efforts are what distinguishes A24 from other film production companies. They distribute bewildering stories that take everything about a genre or narrative and turn it on its side. Being advantageous, the studio has made masterpieces like The Witch and Talk to Me. Both films encapsulate a much deeper message through a medium of thrilling and excruciating developing plot. Such a manner warrants viewers to consider angles and aspects less highlighted in either collective society or within; all whilst being enthalled by a captivating story.

It takes an intelligent approach to recognize brainy/mind-bending movies that deserve some help with distribution. A24 continues to show its pioneering capability by picking the best films to produce, resulting in win after win. There’s no doubt the studio will continue with its trend of distributing success. Currently in theaters, The Iron Claw has grossed a whopping $34.5M box office score, winning several accolades, including ‘Top Ten Films’ and ‘Best Ensemble’ by The National Board of Review. Ending 2023 and entering 2024 with these achievements makes for exciting anticipation of the arrival of blockbusters in the new year.

A24’s Brand Awareness

A Ghost Story A24 Film

A24 will continue to remain at the top of the distribution ladder, not only due to the marvelous work that goes into their films but also their attention to the significance of the brand. What many other studios lack is awareness of their audience. Competitors lack connection by not capitalizing on popular trends and references shared by a dedicated fanbase. A24 focuses on making a sense of community at the forefront of its business model. They create a marketplace and space for fans to develop their creation further. If continually implemented, A24’s culture will continue to reinforce its hype.

As aforementioned, A24 goes about scouting the stories they want to produce and distribute through careful deliberation. Attending to their brand’s identity, as well as investing in original stories, keeps their fans in their theater (and sometimes streaming) seats. Marketing each film in ways never attempted, including pop-up ghost stores and catfishing fans on Tinder, A24 is willing to do whatever elevates the experience. Crossing boundaries and taking risks, the studio outdoes other companies that hesitate to go out of their way for the audience’s thrill.

Clever Marketing Makes A24 Films Successful

A24's Midsommar Yellow Temple

Despite sharing an assortment of different stories in their filmography, they all depict a different side of a familiar tale. Whether that stems from a change in perspective or a unique twist in a genre/trope never before conceived, the originality that shows in their films represents the studio. As an independent company backing independent filmmakers, the stories sure speak for a wider audience that’ll keep showing. Staying true to producing this level of storytelling in each film keeps viewers showing up, yet that’s only one side of A24’s film success.

From original soundtrack vinyl to the temple from Midsommar as an incense holder, A24’s shop has just about everything. Playing into fan-favorite concepts, the items on the site pertain to a moment that viewers feel kinship towards. Utilizing this strategy deepens the bond A24 fans have and brings them closer to the studio. Purchasing a t-shirt and wearing it signifies having an identity with the company. While the sense of community reinforces togetherness among fans, it also advertises the brand to others—for free! What makes A24 films successful are the systems used to bring the community together. What comes as a result is the attention of those who have yet to find a connection with the studio. With the already passionate backing of its fans and the soon-to-be-acquired inquisitive movie lovers, A24 will continue to gain an audience whilst maintaining its own.

A24 Will Remain An Independent Leader

A24 Studios The Green Knight Film

Unlike competing studios, A24 will continue implementing and devising unique strategies to further enhance its prosperous upbringing. By continuing to find the most unique stories audiences find enthralling and deep, they’ll maintain their dedicated fan base forever. Viewer turnout will remain consistent. Heavily provided by the dedication most A24 lovers have for any projects the studio has their hands on. Ultimately, focusing on the story is what drives people to watch a movie; however, a great company can elevate the experience a few notches higher.

With great art comes the necessity to attract as much attention as possible. What makes A24 films successful over other studio’s work is their tendency toward their cult following. With the business model A24 has going, it will essentially fund its development and gain more viewership, effectively setting itself further from rivals. Other competing independent studios are missing out on the opportunity to build a similar relationship with their fans. Failing to drive the same revenue and viewership, their overall projects become overshadowed. Companies with enough money for advertising, casting, etc. pull a broader showing. Anyone can produce or distribute a great story, but it takes a thoughtfully deliberate company like A24 to execute such at the highest level.

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One response to “What Makes A24 Films Successful”

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    Love this review!

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