Top Summer Movie Blockbuster Marketing Tie-Ins
The Avengers cost more than $220 million to make, and a bunch of that cash came from corporate sponsorship. Marvel
|Four years ago, The Dark Knight made $1 billion on its own and set the standard for just how much cash companies could squeeze from a superhero franchise.|
Avengers only starts this season's stream of popcorn-selling CGI-laden epics and big corporate team-ups. We took a look at this year's field and found six films with enough deep-pocketed sponsors to make Times Square look indie by comparison:
Release date: Now showing
There would have been more sponsor names up there, but Disney doesn't do fast food and kicked Burger King
Men In Black III
Release date: Now showing
Sponsors: Gameloft, Activision
Paying for a $375 million film requires a whole lot of selling out. Gameloft and Activision are placing a big bet on folks remembering this franchise well enough after its 10-year hiatus to buy Google
Release date: June 22
The motion-control video game has already been produced by Disney Interactive and is coming to the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. The heroine, Merida, has already received the Disney Princess treatment and her tiara, curly red wig, dress, boots and bow-and-arrow set are already available. The Merida character's been introduced at Disney World and Brave toys are hitting Disney Store shelves. If all that isn't enough, Disney and Pixar temporarily re-released Pixar films such as Toy Story 3 and Wall-E on Memorial Day weekend just to wash the Cars 2 taste out of everyone's mouths. Remind us again why this film needs a sponsor other than Disney.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Release date: June 29
Is a toy still a tie-in if the movie's based on it? Every time, if it's a Hasbro-based film. The folks who brought you the Transformers franchise and a film based on the board game Battleship know how to spark multimillion-dollar interest in toy films and are adept at getting sponsors such as Subway and Chevron
The Amazing Spider Man
Release date: July
Sponsors: Marvel, Hasbro, Kellogg
It's been 10 years, three movies and about $2.5 billion in global box-office receipts since the first Spider-Man movie released, so naturally studios' spider senses were tingling in anticipation of more revenue. Well fear not, true believers, because Spidey's back with a sack full of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. burgers, a pack of Twizzlers, an augmented-reality app and his own line of nail polish. Toys and video games are pretty much rubber-stamped onto any superhero project, but nail polish? Now that's amazing.
The Dark Knight Rises
Release date: June 20
Four years ago, The Dark Knight made $1 billion on its own and set the standard for just how much cash companies could squeeze from a superhero franchise. With this year's installment marking the end of the trilogy, corporate partners have already strapped vacuums to their cash cow's udders. Warner Brothers has already made a highly successful line of Batman-based video games through its Warner Interactive branch and is tweaking the Dark Knight rides at its Six Flags amusement parks in anticipation of the film. Pepsi, meanwhile, plans to release its Bat-themed Mountain Dew Dark Berry in mid-June with cans featuring a bat symbol that appears when the can gets cold, while Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Mountain Dew NASCAR ride gets a Batman paint job just for the occasion.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.
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