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‘Anchorman 2’ Director Adam McKay Figures Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy Publicity Stunts Were Worth $20 Million in Free Publicity

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bill-swift - December 18, 2013

If you watch television or frequent various sites around the World Wide Web, then you are certainly aware that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hits theaters tomorrow. Why? Because Will Ferrell has been everywhere doing publicity in character as Ron Burgundy.

He's been a pitch-man for the Dodge Durango; he's hosted ESPN's SportsCenter; he's serenaded Toronto mayor Rob Ford on Conan; he's called a Canadian curling tournament; and he's appeared on small town newscasts.

But have you ever wondered just how much all this publicity is actually worth in real dollars? Well, Anchorman director Adam McKay has. And he has a ballpark estimate: $20 million.

So was this part of the deal all along? Did Ferrell and McKay propose this epic publicity tour to Paramount in attempt to save them a few bucks on the marketing side and get the money put back into the production side? After all, the project had stalled several times over the issue of the budget.

Well, according Entertainment Weekly, both McKay and Josh Greenstein (Paramount's chief of marketing) insist the answer is no. There was no official agreement on the Burgundy blitz and there was no informal, wink-wink agreement. Supposedly it all just came about naturally.

Should we believe that? I have my own doubts, but in the end it doesn't really matter. The campaign has been wildly successful, and this movie is going to clean up at the box office. So everyone involved gets rich(er)!

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