Nightcrawler: Gyllenhaal’s Weight Loss–Authenticity as Marketing Hook?

nightcrawler_8_gyllenhaalNightcrawler, a twisty thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal about an ethically warped crime reporter, debuted across 2,766 locations.




Open Road, which picked up “Nightcrawler” in Cannes Film Fest, saw there was a dearth of new Halloween fare and pushed the film back from its original October 17 release date, when it would have faced stiffer competition from Brad Pitt’s “Fury.”

The film cost $8.5 million to produce and has been a critical favorite, with a thin-looking Gyllenhaal picking up some of the best notices of his career.

“We saw an opportunity,” said Jason Cassidy, Open Road Films’ chief marketing officer, adding that even though “Nightcrawler” isn’t a horror film, it complemented the holiday because “it had dark complex themes that we really played around with in the marketing.”

Gyllenhaal also banged the drum for the picture, popping up on talk shows and doing surprise appearances at three screenings last weekend in three different cities.

“Jake Gyllenhaal was a marketing machine,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “His losing all that weight was a great peg for stories.”