Independent Film Distribution: How did Juno Become so Successful?

Written By: Shaquana Golding, Monika Parmar, & Dhruti Patel

junoJuno, an independent movie starring Ellen Page, tells the story of a teenage girl’s unplanned pregnancy, and the decision she must make to give her unborn child a better life. Alongside Ellen Page the film co-starred Michael Ciera, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman; the film was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman. The film’s original release date was December 15, 2007 but Juno quickly became a highly anticipated film. Producers wanted to take advantage of the buzz so they released the film on December 5, 2007 in NY, and LA. Juno bringing in over 100 million domestically and earned Academy Award nominations for best picture, best actor, best director, and best original screenplay. Many people would argue if Juno is an indie film because it was produced by major movie studio, Fox Searchlight Pictures; but with a 7.5 million dollar budget (a small budget, depending on who is telling the story), and a word of mouth distribution platform, Juno very much qualifies as one. Juno bought in $231M worldwide; none has seen a successful independent film since 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which bought in $241M domestically. Let’s examine why the film was so successful.


Genre: Comedy/Drama

Release date: December 5, 2007

Production Budget: $7.5 million

Run Time: 1 hrs. 31 min.

Domestic: $143,495,265

Foreign: $87,916,319

Worldwide: $231,411,584

IMDB rating: 7.5 stars

The main strategy to promote the movie was to send it to the film festivals and then to handful of theatres. It created word-of-mouth marketing and it worked greatly.

Film Festivals; Telluride, Toronto International, Austin, Rome, London, Bahamas International, St. Louis International, Stockholm International, International Thessaloniki, Gijon International, Palm Springs International and International Rotterdam Film Festival

On September 8, 2007 Juno was premiered at Toronto Film Festival and got a standing ovation. The film critic Roger Ebert said, “I don’t know when I have heard a standing ovation so long, loud and warm.”

Release: Limited release on December 5

In 7 theatres in Los Angeles and New York

On December 21- Worldwide release

Promotion: Fox Searchlight distributed hamburger phones styled similarly to the phones used in the film at promotional events. They also sent it to film critics and journalists.

On April 15, 2008 the movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc.

juno post

Marketing Strategies

Poster: “Due this Holiday Season” wrote on a striped shirt – indicated movie release date

holidayseason juno

  • Trailer: Direct to the subject, wickedly memorable and reflective dialogues.


  • Online Campaign: Juno official website contains blog posts, synopsis, BTS videos and E-Gifts like orange tic-tacs, a guitar etc.
  • Big Ads Budget: the promotion began in May 2007, six months prior to movie release date December 2007.

In conclusion, Juno earned much more money than the other pregnancy related films released in 2007 Knocked up and Waitress. Unlike the other two films; Juno connects generations. It is a pro-life film. Juno changed people’s mind about the bloggers because the writer of the film Diablo Cody used to be a stripper but also a blogger.




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