Promotional tie-ins integral to summer movie releases

April 25, 1991|By Los Angeles Times Syndicate

HOLLYWOOD -- Who is the heir to Batman and Dick Tracy in this year's summer-movie merchandising tie-in sweepstakes?

Get ready for Robin Hood breakfast cereal and Terminator video games.

If Hollywood's production companies have their way, you'll be seeing a lot of these characters on T-shirts and pajamas, as toys and video games.

About 35 percent of yearly movie admissions are sold during the summer. "When you've got that kind of potential for audience," says Carolco Pictures' president of licensing, Danny Simon, "the kind of exposure you get with film tie-ins is vital for us."

Carolco and Tri-Star Pictures will release "Terminator 2," the sequel to its 1984 sleeper hit starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, July 3. Simon estimates that Carolco's promotional plans for licensing the Terminator name and image could mean an additional $3 million to $5 million in TV advertising support for the film.

Among the tie-ins: a "Terminator" line of toys and puppets from Kenner Products in time for Christmas; pinball and video arcades games using actual footage from "Terminator 2" from Williams Bally Manufacturing Co.; a Marvel Comics series; a Bantam Books novelization; trading cards from Impel Marketing that will be available in 300,000 U.S. outlets; Milton Bradley jigsaw puzzles and a home video game from Acclaim Entertainment.

There will also be an eight-week "meal deal" promotion from the Subway sandwich chain and Pepsi tied to "Terminator," with the image of Big Arnold staring at customers from signs in all of Subway's thousands of U.S outlets.

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