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Movie Marketing Innovator Joseph Farrell Dead at 76

Former chairman and CEO of National Research Group dies of natural causes

Movie marketing pioneer Joseph Farrell has died of natural causes at the age of 76, according to his publicist.

Farrell is the former chairman and CEO of National Research Group, Inc., which became a leading motion-picture research company under his watch. 

He is widely credited with introducing a number of essential market-research practices that are now industry standards, such as tracking, test screenings and trailers.

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He also developed the now ubiquitous method of analyzing movie-going audiences in four distinct age/gender groups called “quadrants.”

Farrell, who had a Harvard law degree, also worked as a producer, founding FP Productions in 2003 with a first-look deal with Disney.

The company went independent in 2009 and just completed the feature “Joyful Noise,” which will be released by Warner Bros. next year.

Farrell is survived by his wife, Italian actress Jo Champa and his 7-year-old son, Sean. Memorial and donation plans are pending.