November 19, 2007

Will the Kite keep flying for "The Kite Runner"?

The book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini became a runaway best-seller in 2003 based largely on positive word-of-mouth among readers throughout the world. But can the Hollywood movie persuade fans of the book to see the film?

That's the intriguing question facing Paramount Vantage, the art-house arm of Paramount Pictures, after it embarked on an unusual marketing strategy to develop awareness of The Kite Runner movie among the novel's many fans.

The Marc Forster-directed film, which opens in Los Angeles on Dec. 21, tells the story of an emigre who, after spending years in California, returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his boyhood friend's son, who is in trouble. The film depicts Afghanistan as ruins where savages live and only the Johnny Walker drinking rich class who moved to the US deserves any sort of sympathy.

All around the United States, several "Kite Runner Clubs" are being set up as part of the marketing effort for The Kite Runner. Clubs with 200 members will receive copies of the book signed by the author, Khaled Hosseini and 100-member clubs will attend advanced screenings of the film in their hometowns along with family and friends.

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