Category Archives: Film

Pizza Hut Teams Up with Turtles for Movie Promotion

In order to promote the August premier of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Pizza Hut rekindled their decades old partnership with the TMNJ franchise to deliver a select number of pizzas in the New York City subway system. Children from the 80’s and 90’s are rejoicing in this nod towards their childhood, as they fondly remember the cartoon turtles, who are famous for enjoying pizza in the tunnels below the city.

According to Lindsay Morgan, Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, “Pizza Hut and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a longstanding history that goes back to the ’90s. Bringing the two together again for a new generation was a no-brainer… We wanted to pay homage to the Turtles’ origins and their love of pizza, while also infusing modern touchpoints and a fun, creative take on pizza deliveries”.

By texting a turtle emoji to a specified phone number, Pizza Hut customers could have their orders delivered to selected spots in subway stations. A YouTube Video explains the promo and documents the excitement of getting pizza delivered directly to your subway stop. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will be in theaters on August 2.

Famed Marilyn Monroe Portrait Sets New Record

In a record-breaking sale, the famous 1964 Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe has sold for $195 million. The sale took place at Christie’s auction house in New York.

While estimates before the event had the artwork priced at $200 million, this auction has set new records for 20th century American art. It is the most expensive piece of American artwork ever sold at an auction. It is also the second priciest auctioned piece of art, after Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold for $450 million in 2017.

The sale of the iconic silk-screen portrait was encouraging for many art dealers. Andrew Fabricant, COO of Gagosian Gallery and a top art dealer, explained: “This shows that quality and scarcity are always going to push the market forward. It will give a bump psychologically to everyone’s thinking.”

The artwork, entitled Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, was painted by Warhol two years after Monroe’s death in 1964. It is one in a series of five versions of the portrait, each featuring a different color scheme. After a woman entered Warhol’s studio and fired gunshots at a stack of the paintings, the portraits inherited their titles.

Since the 1980s, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn had been owned by a Swiss art dealer. Proceeds of this memorable sale will go to charity in support of education and health programming for children.

Third Pixar Film in a Row to be Released Directly to Streaming Service

Due to the uncertainties in movie-theater attendance because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pixar has decided to skip theaters when it releases its latest full-length animate film, “Turning Red” straight to Disney+. This is the third straight film to be released that way after “Soul,” released in October 2020; and “Luca,” released in December 2020. “Onward” was the last such movie from Pixar released to theaters in March 2020, right at the cusp of the pandemic arriving in the United States forcing theaters to close. Soon after “Onward” could be seen on Disney+.

Pixar’s latest release is expected to begin streaming on Disney+ at the beginning of March 2022, according to Kareem Daniel, the head of distribution for Disney. He explained that the pandemic and the slower recovery for family films at the box office persuaded Disney for a streaming release.

“Turning Red” is about a “confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying as her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence” explained a Pixar representative. The film was directed by Domee Shi, who also made a Pixar short film called “Bao”, is the first of Pixar’s films directed solely by a woman, and voices are done by Sandra Oh and Rosalie Chiang.

Hollywood’s Biggest Grossing Blockbusters

Publicity photo of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind.

Movies are big business, there is no doubt. But just how big might come as a surprise to some. Just like any business, in order to calculate profit, we must factor in expenses and subtract that from revenue. Some of Hollywood’s biggest sellers in terms of profits might surprise the movie-going public.

Here is a list of the six biggest grossing movies of all time, adjusted for inflation:

1.    Gone with the Wind– The 1939 four-hour epic about the Civil War based on the best-selling book by Margaret Mitchell, set in the south. It won eight Academy Awards. Adjusted for inflation the move grossed $1.78 billion.

2.    Star Wars- In 1977 Star Wars touched something ephemeral in the movie-going public, helping it to rake in a cool $1.58 billion in gross sales.

3.    The Sound of Music- The beloved 1965 musical is based on a true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers and their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria. This heart-warming musical grossed $1.23 billion.

4.    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial- One of Steven Spielsberg’s early smash-hits, the story of a sensitive boy and his companion alien won the hearts and minds of a generation in 1982. It showed at the box office with a lovely $1.22 billion in receipts.

5.    Titanic- A film of titanic proportions, this film of epic proportions won 11 Academy Awards. Based on the true story of the catastrophic sinking of the luxury ocean liner Titanic in 1912, James Cameron made the film so that he could go to the site of the sinking and see it with his own eyes in a modern, mini-submarine. This film’s gross take of $1.22 billion is truly titanic.

6.    The Ten Commandments Based on the biblical story of the exodus of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt to the receiving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, who’d a thunk it, that Moses and his rag-tag collection of Jewish ex-slaves could pull in a lovely $1.13 billion? Released in 1956, Cecil B. DeMille’s classic film won the Award for Best Special Effects at the 29th Academy Awards.

Wonderful Walt Does It Again

Big Time Marketing Sales for New Movie

Cars 2 is due out at the end of next month with a bit of a difference. For Cars and Toy Story lovers alike, the six-minute bonus will surely delight. All of a sudden, viewers will be privy to their buddies from Toy Story giving an appearance. Toy Story 3 characters will “romp and joke about Ken and Barbie’s failed attempts to hitch a ride to Hawaii inside their owner Andy's book bag.” This is a good marketing technique. The plan is that it will “keep sales humming for merchandise.” Toy Story franchise as it is already brings in more money than mega characters from Disney such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh. Indeed, anticipated retail sales from Toy Story 3 merchandise is sitting at $7.3 bn.

Clever Tactics

The new movie, Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation is being hailed as Disney’s attempt to work with how Americans love buying all these movie-related goodies, such as lunchboxes and toys. According to former president of Nickelodeon Film & Television Entertainment and founder of Worldwide Biggies Albie Hecht, “showing those shorts is a super-smart strategy for Disney…It’s a way to extend the characters and the brand without its fans waiting two or three years for a new movie.” In addition, these shorts are enabling Pixar to provide the consumer with “great entertainment experiences while prolonging the brand’s relevance.” It’s going to be screened a little more than a year after the release of Toy Story 3, which is just in perfect time to remind people of how much they loved Buzz and Woody. Costing an estimated $6m to produce (for the short), it seems like the returns are going to be worth it when looking at how much the film grossed in worldwide ticket sales alone ($1.06bn, rendering it Disney’s “biggest animated film ever”). There are additional Toy Story shorts in the planning stage as keeping these characters in the limelight seem to just make good marketing sense. On Thanksgiving weekend when The Muppets premiers, another Toon will be played too.