Tag Archive: marketing

Tom’s Totally Terrific Talks

Also part of every promotional circus that visited a town were the appearances. I showed Julie Webb and others making their appearances (everyone usually would not come at the same time in order for there to be many, many, many events for the press to report on, rather than just one big one – smart!). Here Tom Laughlin is making his rounds that almost always included local colleges, audiences, radio stations, newspapers, TV, etc., etc., etc. It never stopped.

The ‘Billy Jack Show’

The shots below are from what would be probably one of the world’s first infomercials, a show selling Billy Jack. As you can see from the ‘BJ’ hanging on the wall, this was the Billy Jack show (I don’t know actually what it was called, but it was expressly to promote the film and nothing else). Tom’s group arranged for the stage, hired the…

Delores Minneapolis Tour

The family was on summer vacation in Wisconsin (Tom’s home state, and home to a big chunk of relatives — Hi Koeppens and Fossums!). Delores, TC, Christina, Stacy Manolakas, and a babysitter (who I’m sorry I don’t remember) traveled out by the Cessna push-pull prop plane. Way to go, girls!

Billy Jack Day, Dayton, OH (part 1)

As I mentioned in the previous posts about the re-release of Billy Jack in 1972-1973, the promotion of the film was a blitzkrieg of publicity. Radio, TV, newspapers, news reports, live bands, karate demonstrations, girls with lettered cards, it literally never ended. For weeks before the film…

Billy Jack Southern California Box Office Results

Tom was one of the best friends newspapers (and radio and TV) ever had. He placed ads constantly… everywhere. But his favorites were the show business journals Hollywood Reporter and Variety. The combination of the overwhelming success of Billy Jack (and later the Trial of Billy Jack) and the lack of industry acknowledgment…

Billy Jack Day, Kansas City (part 3)

Leading up to the premiere in each city, was the same Billy Jack circus: karate demonstrations, live bands, and the girls holding the cards that spelled B-I-L-L-Y-J-A-C-K. Below the circus is staged out front of the Glenwood Theaters outside Kansas City, Kansas. The picture on the bottom shows some of the incredible turnout.

Billy Jack Day, Kansas City (part 2)

Here is Julie Webb at some kind of tennis event (don’t know if the event had any other tie-in to Billy Jack other than Julie’s appearance). Interestingly, tennis great Alex Olmedo (’59 Wimbledon champion, and tennis pro at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel for 30 years) is there, which makes me suspicious…

Delores Taylor Press Junket

Delores Taylor on a press junket somewhere in the Midwest for Billy Jack. There are lots of photos. Delores did radio shows, TV shows, there was a luncheon, and some type of gift or award.

Billy Jack Re-Release Shocker… All-Time Box Office Champ?!?

If you add together the initial $32.5M with the $60M from the re-release, you realize by the end of 1973, Billy Jack had made $92,500,000, which made it — I still can’t believe this — the highest grossing film in motion picture history!

Tom Laughlin Stuns Film Biz Pros

The re-release of ‘Billy Jack’ in 1973 was ground breaking. Never had a film been re-released so soon after it had played in theaters… and been such a success. ‘Billy Jack’ earned $32,000,000 in 1971. (For comparison: ‘The French Connection’ $26M; ‘Dirty Harry’ $18M; ‘The Last Picture Show’ $13M; ‘Shaft’ $7M.) But that was nothing…