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We were lucky enough to interview Brad Derusseau about entrepreneurship, his new game app Hollywood Run, and what inspired him to create it.

Why Hollywood Run is the best app for movie fans

Keeping an eye on the box office is definitely an entertaining game to play nowadays. With Disney now having five movies in 2019 make over $1 billion in global box office gross, it’s fun to try to figure out what movies get the remaining money left in the box office each week. App developers know this too, and have made attempts at trying to make a game out of it.

Sites like Fantasy Movie League try to give movie fans a chance to predict the future box office, but make it hard to score points if you’re not 100% correct. However, Hollywood Run makes it easy for anyone to hop into the box office game. 

When you play Hollywood Run, you take a guess what the three highest-grossing movies will be in the U.S. that weekend out of a list of wide releases currently playing in theaters. If you need some help taking a guess, Hollywood Run’s social media pages offer suggestions of box office estimates. 

For every 25 points you earn, you get instant prizes like a coupon for free popcorn at the movies, free movie tickets, entries into sweepstakes, and more. Plus, the more you play, the more stars you earn and the closer you get to winning real money.

The player with the most stars at the end of the month can win up to $1,000 depending on the month. For more in depth information on the roles, you can check out the Hollywood Run website

Hollywood Run is the brainchild of Brad Derusseau, who’s worked in the motion picture industry for years. His most recent role was as VP of exhibitor relations at TrailerVote, a company that works with theaters to help audiences identify trailers that play, and set reminders to buy tickets to movies that interest them.

Brad’s goal with Hollywood Run is to help create a fun way for audiences to remember what movies are out in theaters at any given time. We were lucky enough to interview Derusseau about Hollywood Run and what inspired him to create the app.

Tell us about your history in the film business. How have your past experiences shaped Hollywood Run?

I have more than 17 years of experience promoting new release films for every movie studio in virtually every domestic movie theatre. These promotions range from low-tech experiences like distributing movie branded concession items to developing high-tech media experiences like the TrailerVision network or the ArcLight Cinemas “StoryWall” displays.

Through the years I have come to appreciate that every week of the year movie distributors are trying to launch or relaunch a movie brand. It is a repetitive challenge and success is determined by how well the movie does at the box office!

My altruistic vision for Hollywood Run is to generate a fun mobile experience that brings attention to each week’s new releases. The increased exposure to the new releases will result increased ticket sales as Hollywood Run players seek out movies that they found interesting through the app.

What was your biggest success?

Aside from co-founding a $20M+ company, I believe my biggest success was the creation of the TrailerVision network. This required filling a market void (trailer placement in movie lobbies) while creating the entire marketplace from scratch. 

It required the technical acumen to launch a digital media network as well as sales skills to negotiate the network placement within movie theatres. The TrailerVision network is now in its 14th year of existence! I am certainly very proud of that.

Why is the time right for Hollywood Run?

The time is right because today there are more entertainment options than ever before. Hollywood Run breaks through the clutter by making a fun competition around knowing what movies will perform the best at theatres each weekend.

Rather than talking about “what new series are you watching”, Hollywood Run will encourage folks to talk about what movies are playing in theatres and what upcoming titles may be of interest.

Who are you trying to disrupt? Why is your business the right fit for the world right now?

Hollywood Run tries to disrupt moviegoers from getting sucked into subscription-based entertainment series as their only form of content consumption. Hollywood Run makes players aware of great content playing on the big screen.

Tell us about your career before the entertainment industry.

Prior to my work in the entertainment industry I spent 13 years at Sprint. I started my career in the finance department and advanced to holding various positions in international sales, international relations, partnership marketing, ethnic marketing and international marketing.

Where did the concept come from for Hollywood Run?

Hollywood Run was conceived out of the success of sports-based prediction apps like MLB 56 and ESPN’s Streak For The Cash. Box Office results are national news every Sunday evening and there was a marketplace void when it came to predicting actual Box Office results. 

There is a fantasy-based movie app (Fantasy Movie League) but success in that game is based on rather complicated value based predictions. Hollywood Run is designed to be simple, fun and informative.

Who are your early partners?

My early partners have been a group called FOOT50, Propaganda 3 and TrailerVote. FOOT50 is a close group of friends that allowed me to test the game concept on them for several months. The feedback was so encouraging that we moved to the design stage with Propaganda 3(P3). The FOOT50 team was so enthusiastic, they all invested in Hollywood Run as well.

Cello and team at P3 guided me through the design phase, the development phase and through our successful app launch. Along the way Marco at TrailerVote (who a few years ago oversaw Yahoo’s entertainment division) mentored me through the use of social media and other platforms to fill Hollywood Run marketing funnel. Very soon, we plan to incorporate the TrailerVote voting platform into Hollywood Run.

What one thing do you want our readers to come away with?

Playing Hollywood Run is fun and rewarding. Win cash, popcorn and movie tickets doing something that is already fun . . . following movies with daily and weekly game play!

What’s your elevator pitch? 

Who doesn’t like movies or winning stuff? With Hollywood Run you get both: pick movies, play trivia, win popcorn!

What’s your next project?

TrailerVote! As the SVP of Exhibitor Relations for TrailerVote we will transform the motion picture industry into digital marketing experts. We will collect Trailer feedback directly from known moviegoer’s mobile devices and retarget with friendly reminders to purchase tickets to movies that indicated were of strong interest.

If we were making a movie about Hollywood Run, what type of movie would it be?

Hollywood Run would be an action adventure with suspense and humor overtones. The action adventure would be the competition of the game play. The suspense would be the anticipation of the weekly results and the humor coming from the trivia and trailers.

You’ve had great success in this industry. What’s it like to be going back to the startup phase?

Throughout my career we have attempted to reinvent our product offerings in order to stay relevant. While at Cinema Scene I led the development of our TrailerVision and Storywall Networks while creating an industry leading proprietary content management software solution. I am at home in start-up mode!

What would you tell any budding entrepreneurs?

Seek and fulfill opportunities that are either being underserved or ripe for reinvention. If it hasn’t been done yet, understand why. There are a lot of people in this world and you very likely aren’t first to concept the idea. Be brutally honest with yourself as the truth will eventually find you.

Don’t create/build something with the goal of selling it; that leads to steering your decision making toward what would the buyer want vs. what’s best for the client/consumer. Build ideas with sustainable value and buyers will find you, if that’s what you want.

Don’t assume anything, rather ask prospective clients/customer if they would be willing to help. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many people truly want to help you succeed.

Will Hollywood Run be going global?

We have already launched Hollywood Run outside of the U.S. but our prize fulfillment is U.S. Therefore, overseas players are encouraged to compete but they will be playing for pride rather than cash, popcorn, tickets or sweepstakes entry. 

What does your user base look like? How many people are you hoping to grow to?

Millennial females are our largest audience with males 25 – 44 making up 25+% as well. We have a view to grow to 500k+ players within 30 months.

What’s your favourite film of all time and what did you learn from it?

My favorite film is Dead Poets Society. The message of the story is to get outside of your comfort zone and “suck out all the marrow of life.” Professor Keating (played by Robin Williams) was unorthodox and yet truly inspirational. “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

What other movie-related apps should our readers be watching?

Look for a new movie ticketing app from TrailerVote called CinemaONE. CinemaONE is a private label ticketing app for theatre owners that incorporates the TrailerVote polling technology (think Shazam, but for Movie Trailers) which will be the standard for which all other exhibitor apps will be judged.

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