SUMMER MOVIES; SMALL SOLDIERS . . . A BIG MONSTER . . . . AND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.Byline: Dave McNary Daily News Staff Writer
Giant lizards Giant lizards include:
Hollywood studios are scrambling to fine-tune massive marketing campaigns as its most crucial season approaches. Originally, the summer might have been called ``Godzilla and the Seven Dwarfs IBM's early competitors in the mainframe business: Burroughs, CDC, GE, Honeywell, NCR, RCA and Univac.
Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy, Dopey. [Am. ,'' but Sony's giant lizard - due in theaters May 20 following a promotional campaign costing $150 million - is not expected to destroy the competing tie-ins, promotions, toys and knick-knacks.
Analysts now believe solid competition will come from DreamWorks SKG's ``Small Soldiers,'' in which a group of foot-high toy soldiers come alive in the suburbs.
`` `Godzilla' is the big one but `Small Soldiers' has good potential,'' said Martin Brochstein, editor of the New York-based Licensing Letter. ``Those are the two films everyone's talking Everyone's Talking, actual name Everybody's Talking, was a game show which aired on ABC February 6 – December 29, 1967. Former dance-party host Lloyd Thaxton was the host, and Wink Martindale and Charlie O'Donnell were the announcers. about.''
Achieving that kind of buzz isn't simple. A studio has to line up dozens of marketing partners so that the movie is highly anticipated yet not overexposed o·ver·ex·pose
tr.v. o·ver·ex·posed, o·ver·ex·pos·ing, o·ver·ex·pos·es
1. To expose too long or too much: Don't overexpose the children to television.
2. to the point of seeming sickeningly ubiquitous.
``I think that consumer product manufacturers are becoming increasingly selective about which movies they hook up with,'' said Salomon Smith Barney Smith Barney is a division of Citigroup Global Capital Markets Inc., a global, full-service financial firm, that provides brokerage, investment banking and asset management services to corporations, governments and individuals around the world. analyst Jill S. Krutick. ``After `Godzilla,' there's not a lot to pick from this year, although Hasbro is putting a lot behind `Small Soldiers.' ''
It's a risky business. To break out from the pack, a studio has to finagle shelf space from retailers, design and manufacture an entire line of toys and apparel, and launch massive advertising campaigns. If the movie doesn't catch on, millions of items wind up being sold at deep discount to markets like Bolivia and Bulgaria.
``Everybody wants a franchise,'' said entertainment analyst and former studio executive Arthur Rockwell. ``They're all looking to be the next `Star Wars' and it's not that easy to do. The rap on Sony for years has been that they hadn't paid that much attention to creating a franchise until `Godzilla' came along.''
The ``Godzilla'' campaign has an odd wrinkle to it because no one knows exactly what the mutated lizard looks like. Marketing partners and licensees were required to sign confidentiality agreements forbidding them from revealing Godzilla's new look until the film opens in late May.
A few details about the 200-foot-high monster have emerged - he's not green and he's sleeker than the bulky 1950s version that became a staple of late-night TV.
The stakes are so high that producers Dean Devlin Dean Devlin (born August 27, 1962) is an American former actor and current screenwriter and producer. Devlin was born in New York City to Don Devlin and Pilar Seurat, both actors. He is Jewish on his father's side and Filipino on his mother's. and Roland Emmerich went to the trouble of releasing bogus drawings to licensees, each slightly different, and then cut ties to several partners who leaked the drawing.
The idea is to create an event around the launch of the $125 million movie. But the bigger plan is to give the studio a profitable icon, like Warner Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) .' Batman, Disney's Lion King, MGM's James Bond and Paramount's Star Trek Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. - a property with the strength to generate ongoing sales through sequels, TV shows, toys and videos.
``We're not just launching a movie,'' said Peter Dang dang
Used to express dissatisfaction or annoyance.
adv. & adj.
tr.v. danged, dang·ing, dangs
n. , executive vice president of the Sony Signatures division. ``We're launching a franchise, so it's worth it to launch the franchise right.''
For Sony, that means three days of what it calls Monster Madness Monster Madness is another release from Razor & Tie's "Monster" line of 80s hard rock compilation CDs (Monsters of Rock, Monster Ballads, etc ). Track listing
performance, public presentation - a dramatic or musical entertainment; "they listened to ten different performances"; "the play ran for 100 in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . On May 19, theaters will show sneak previews with special commemorative tickets and stores will be allowed to start putting up all the Godzilla merchandise. At midnight, they're officially allowed to start selling.
The first trailers for ``Godzilla'' appeared almost a year ago. The movie is widely expected to draw at least $200 million at the U.S. box office - much of that coming from the key moviegoing crowds of children and teen-agers.
``Sony has done a wonderful job of hyping the movie and maintaining the veil of secrecy about what he looks like,'' Brochstein said. ``They've licensed the property pretty completely.''
Still, the marketing of ``Godzilla'' may not be without flaws. Silver believes Sony is hurting itself by keeping ``Godzilla'' merchandise off the shelves prior to the movie opening. ``Typically, you sell up to 40 percent of your merchandise before the release, so they'll lose some of those sales,'' he said.
He is more enthusiastic about ``Small Soldiers.''
``If there ever was a movie custom-made for licensing, this is it,'' Silver said. ``If you think about it, `Small Soldiers' is a perfect fit for toys.''
The premise of the movie is a natural for marketing - two groups of toys, the Commando Elite and the Gorgonites battle it out in suburbia, in what analysts believe will tap into the reservoir of goodwill left by Disney's surprise 1995 hit, ``Toy Story.''
DreamWorks has signed on a vast array of marketing partners and showed off a massive line of more than 60 toys from Hasbro Inc. at February's Toy Fair in New York. Other licensees include Penguin Putnam, Tiger Electronics
``For `Small Soldiers,' you have basic categories that should work,'' Brochstein said. ``There's enough of a kiddish element so that you should have a pretty broad appeal.''
Still, it's not as if the rest of Hollywood has thrown in the towel.
The summer's other major promotional campaigns will come from Walt Disney Noun 1. Walt Disney - United States film maker who pioneered animated cartoons and created such characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; founded Disneyland (1901-1966)
Disney, Walter Elias Disney Co., for its asteroid-versus-Earth project ``Armageddon'' and its animated entry ``Mulan,'' based on a Chinese folk tale.
The entertainment giant has seen consistently profitable performance in recent years but nothing near 1994's blockbuster levels from ``The Lion King,'' which sold an estimated $1.5 billion in items at retail. With standard royalties running between 10 and 14 percent, Disney saw an astounding a·stound
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.
[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen, $200 million in profit from just that single part of ``The Lion King.''
Disney's massive marketing machine, admired for its consistent ability to draw dollars from kids and their parents, has started to swing into gear for the two films. For example, Disney has unveiled a huge ``Mulan'' poster on Sunset Boulevard Sunset Boulevard is a street in the western part of Los Angeles County, California, that stretches from Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Coast Highway at the Pacific Ocean in the Pacific Palisades. and both films are already being advertised on checkout-stand dividers at supermarkets. ``Mulan'' merchandise should hit store shelves in a week, or two months before its June 12 opening.
Disney also will have help from fast-food giant McDonald's as part of their 10-year marketing alliance signed in 1996.
``Armageddon'' represents the first time that McDonald's has tried to use a film outside the kid's market to attract customers. Some analysts believe that the strategy makes sense because of the strong interest that children have been showing in films oriented toward adults, such as Sony's ``Men In Black'' and ``My Best Friend's Wedding.'' And as any parent knows, an 8-year-old who wants to see a film can be a powerful persuader.
But ``Armageddon'' may be hurt by Paramount's May 8 release of comet-versus-Earth project ``Deep Impact'' seven weeks prior to its opening. And trackers believe ``Mulan'' will be a tricky sell despite the presence of such marketing powers as Nestle and Eastman Kodak.
For now, they predict box office and merchandise performance in the solid-but-unspectacular achieved by ``Hercules'' and ``The Hunchback hunchback, abnormal outward curvature of the spine in the thoracic region. It is also known as kyphosis and humpback, and in its severe form a noticeable hump is evident on the back. of Notre Dame Notre Dame IPA: [nɔtʁ dam] is French for Our Lady, referring to the Virgin Mary. In the United States of America, Notre Dame .''
`` `Mulan' will have the usual licensed items but it won't be anything like the huge campaigns on other Disney movies,'' Brochstein said.
So far this year, New Line has launched the biggest campaign with its promotional push for ``Lost In Space,'' replete with offbeat off·beat
An unaccented beat in a measure.
Not conforming to an ordinary type or pattern; unconventional: offbeat humor. items like phone cards and breath mints List of breath mints is a comprehensive list of breath mint brands:
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the Camelot''; and 20th Century Fox has signed up partners for ``X-Files,'' including Mattel's agreement to produce Barbie and Ken dolls dressed like leading characters Fox Mulder Special Agent Fox William Mulder (born October 13, 1961), nicknamed "Spooky" Mulder, is a fictional character played by David Duchovny on the 1993-2002 television series, The X-Files. and Dana Scully Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully, M.D. (born February 23, 1964) is a fictional character on the FOX television series The X-Files (1993-2002), played by Gillian Anderson. She is an FBI Special Agent, partnered on the X-Files with Special Agent Fox Mulder. .
One of the most massive and successful campaigns is expected to come in the fall with Disney's ``A Bug's Life,'' due to open Nov. 20 as its first project with Steve Jobs' Pixar Animation since their work on ``Toy Story.''
`` `A Bug's Life' will be absolutely huge,'' Silver predicts. ``It has the feel of `Toy Story' in a different genre and everyone is banking on it in a big way.''
Universal also has received high marks thus far for ``Babe, A Pig in the City,'' its sequel to its surprise 1995 hit about a talking pig.
``The sequel could be a sleeper,'' Silver predicts. ``They have designed an interactive toy called Real Talking Babe that's a great item and is already getting good support from retailers.''
A pair of films with already solid performances at toy stores will hit the big screen this year: PolyGram's ``Barney's Great Adventure'' and Paramount's ``Rugrats.''
``With both these films, you already have a strong-selling product, so the movie will add some more life to it,'' Silver said. ``Barney is particularly interesting since it's really the first movie for preschooolers and everyone's watching to see how it will do. It's clearly new turf.''
As for next year, a marketing colossus Colossus - (A huge and ancient statue on the Greek island of Rhodes).
The bidding produced what were the richest toy licensing agreements ever, for a simple reason: analysts believe toy sales for the trilogy, kicked off by Luke Skywalker's father meeting Obi-Wan Kenobi, can reach $4 billion. That's as much money as the entire Walt Disney Co. - including theme parks, movies, stores, TV networks - generates in two months.
Studios line up vast arrays of partners to position movies as must-see events for children and teenagers. Some upcoming deals:
MOVIE; STUDIO; RELEASE DATE; PARTNERS.
Lost in Space; New Line; April 3; Trendmasters, Altoids.
Paulie; DreamWorks; April 17; Subway, Toys 'R Us.
Godzilla; Sony; May 20; Taco Bell, Hershey, Trendmasters, Galoob.
Mulan; Disney; June 12; Mattel, McDonald's.
X-Files; Fox; June 12; Mattel, McFarlane Toys.
Armageddon; Disney; July 1; McDonald's.
SmallSoldiers; DreamWorks; July 10; Hasbro, Burger King, Coca-Cola.
A Bug's Life; Disney; Nov. 18; Mattel, McDonald's.
Rugrats; Paramount; Nov. 25; Mattel.
Babe: Pig in the City; Universal; Nov. 25; Equity Toys
Star Wars - Chapter 1; Fox; May 1999; Hasbro, Galoob
Sources: studios and licensees
BOX: MARKETING MADNESS (see text)
DRAWING: (Color) ``Small Soldiers'' art courtesy DreamWorks SKG SKG Stichting Kwaliteit Gevelbouw (Dutch)
SKG Spielberg, Katzenberg,and Geffen (DreamWorks Studios)
SKG Thessaloniki, Greece - Thessaloniki (Airport Code)
SKG Smith and Kraus Global . ``Godzilla'' artwork by Mark Gibbs www.monsterzero.org. Godzilla is a registered trademark of Sony. ``Star Trek'' figures courtesy Viacom International Inc.