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A special edition of The Raygun focusing exlusively on The Inbetweeners 2, due on December 1. Normal Raygun service will resume on Friday…
Every year a film or release comes along that sweeps the competition aside and dominates not just the charts, be it box office or DVD and Bu-ray sales, but the whole industry too. If the release really does the business, it will change the way the industry looks at things. And so, in 2011, everyone started looking at what rights were available to what homegrown TV comedies to turn them into feature films. The reason? The Inbetweeners Movie. 
And now, three years after the original film based on the exploits of four school-leaver-age lads took the business by storm, first at the box office and then in homes across the UK, the quartet has returned for The Inbetweeners 2. After a barnstorming success at cinemas this summer the film is highest grossing summer box office blockbuster due to be released on DVD and Blu-ray this autumn. 4DVD has announced the official release date for the comedy sequel, with the film due to arrive on shelves on December 1. It went up for pre-order last week and has got off to a flying start already. As 4DVD’s Claire Bosak said: “Everyone is absolutely delighted with the great box office result the film has achieved. It’s a fantastic sequel and really delivers more of what the fans want in true Inbetweeners style – it’s laugh out loud funny and has some really gross moments. We are confident of really strong sales and believe this will be the biggest title released this Q4, and are putting in place a stand-out marketing plan that supports this.”

The Inbetweeners 2 certainly has what it takes to match its predecessor. It boasts an impeccable box office – it’s the highest-grossing comedy of 2014 – adding to a superb pedigree for the franchise as a whole. Commenting on the first film’s huge success, 4DVD’s Claire Bosak noted: “The Inbetweeners Movie was a massive success in 2011, it set the record for the biggest opening weekend of a comedy film in the UK, and the DVD of the first film followed this success selling 1.2m units in its first week, was the 2011 Christmas number 1 in the video chart, and has gone on to sell 2.7m units to date.”
A sequel might not have been the inevitability the success of the first would normally have guaranteed. For starters, the cast are not getting any younger, plus they’ve all been keeping themselves busy with other projects and, well, they’d said they’d not be a second film. But as co-creator Iain Morris said in one of the plethora of interviews given as part of the impressive PR already garnered for the film: “It seemed mental to stop doing it.” 
As Morris further noted, the team behind the film tried to avoid the pitfalls of other comedy sequels (“We just didn't want to make the same film again”) and, as critics and audiences showed, they succeeded, both in commercial and artistic terms. As the Daily Telegraph’s stated in a five star review: “The sequel has bigger, more filmic ambitions, which it goes on to breezily live up to. Perhaps the biggest compliment you could pay the film, apart from that it’s by and large hysterically funny, is that it is unmistakably film-like, with a smoothly arcing plot and gross-out moments staged with the verve and ceremony of an action-movie set-piece.”
“The Inbetweeners 2 opened in cinemas in August to really strong reviews from a wide range of the press,” continued 4DVD’s Claire  Bosak. “The total box office is now over £33 million, making it the highest-grossing comedy film of the year. Channel 4 supported the build-up to the opening of the new film with specially commissioned programming which also boosted our drafting of the first movie and the TV box set. To date the whole franchise has sold 5,343,914 units.”
The success of the film and its impressive box office was far less of a surprise this time, as box office expert, Guardian, Sight & Sound and Heat writer Charles Gant noted: “With The Inbetweeners 2, it's easy to get distracted by the comparison with the incredibly successful first film, and not appreciate just how phenomenal this franchise is. For the sequel to take £33.39 million, making it the top-grossing title of the summer, is a success worth remarking and celebrating. First of all, most mega-grossing movies are Cert 12A or lower, making them available to that huge family and younger-teen audience that can't get into The Inbetweeners. Second, the budgets of the summer's other top-grossing films (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Guardians Of The Galaxy and X-Men: Days Of Future Past) dwarf the production spend of either Inbetweeners film. They say there won't be a third one, but I don't doubt that new Film 4 boss David Kosse is hoping to persuade the creative team otherwise.”

And so, with the box office under its belt, what of the home entertainment bow? What the sequel has that its predecessor didn’t is not only an expectant air around it, but also an extra dozen days on sale ahead of December 25. As 4DVD’s Claire Bosak said; “The Inbetweeners 2 is released on December 1, this is earlier than the first movie was released and gives us 12 more all-important day’s sales in the gifting period.  We’ve had fantastic feedback from retail following the great success of the box office, The Inbetweeners 2 is the biggest grossing film released this Christmas period. We are planning wide ranging instore profile and because of the sunny, bright creative it will definitely have stand-out against all the greens and reds of Christmas.”
This week has already seem the start of marketing in earnest for The Inbetweeners 2, with online advertising and social media activity officially announcing its release date, pre-sale availability and beginning the charge leading up to December 1. Outlining the campaign, 4DVD’s Claire Bosak said: “The media campaign kicks off this week with social and online advertising which will run right up until Christmas. TV will be our lead medium around launch and into the gifting period. This will be supported by extensive national outdoor which has all been planned with a close proximity to retail making sure we’re really hitting the general public while they are shopping.”
Beyond the high profile above the line marketing, there will be plenty of additional activity too, in the shape of PR and social media activity. Claire Bosak explained: “We have a really strong publicity campaign in place that will reinvigorate the brand with full involvement from the cast who will be appearing on key chat shows in December. The Channel 4 managed Inbetweeners Facebook page which has over 4.6 million followers is a very important tool to the campaign and we’ll be engaging fans with exclusive clips from extras and behind the scenes images.
Social media is key, as 4DVD’s Nina Russell outlined. She said: “It’s been very exciting monitoring the social media engagement for Inbetweeners 2 from its premiere to now. We announced the DVD on Monday October 6 across Twitter and Facebook and have already seen lots of interaction with fans sharing pre-order links which we’ll continue to grow up to release.”
The Inbetweeners star James Buckley is set to become something of a horror star within the coming months as he makes not one but two appearances in far darker projects than the comedy in which he's made his name. The Pyramid sees him uncovering a tomb with hidden secrets on an archaeological dig in Egypt (you can see the trailer here), while Welcome To Purgatory should see him lining up with the likes of genre favourites such as Danny Trejo and Bruce Campbell. 

Meanwhile, it may have almost become lost in the welter of recent publicity about the Dad's Army movie, but, in the raft of casting announcements, one of the more intriguing items will see Blake Harrison appearing as one of the younger members of the Home Guard. For, alongside the likes of Toby Jones (Captain Mainwaring), Bill Nighy (Sergeant Wilson) and Michael Gambon as Private Godfrey, Harrison will take on the perfectly cast role of Private Pike, aka the “stupid boy” who is so often the subject of Mainwaring’s ire…   

Follow 4DVD's activity up to and around the release on
Here’s the official trailer for the film…
One of its theatrical TV spots…
And the first teaser…
And, to whet your appetite further, a clip from the film…

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