]> It's a sweet sequel for the entertainment category, re
April 6, 2018
]>It's a sweet sequel for the entertainment category, retailers and licensed products as the box office notched back-to-back record years and prepares for a "three-peat" in 2009 and beyond. Once again, it was the superheroes that dominated the hit list, store shelves and consumer demand as Spider-Man set the stage in 2007 for another summer of blockbuster hits that included Iron Man, The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. In addition, other movies including Kung Fu Panda, Get Smart, Wall-E, Sex and the City and Star Wars: The Clone Wars provided some additional licensing opportunities. And despite the current economic uncertainty worldwide, it is likely to be another strong year for the box office based on the marquee titles with mega licensing programs, such as Hasbro's Transformers (DreamWorks/Paramount) and G.I. Joe (Paramount).
The licensors are developing merchandising programs that are wide and deep and working more closely with retailers who realize that hot entertainment properties translate into strong sales and traffic and are among the most important partnerships—especially in a difficult marketplace. In fact, the major movies have become one of the most important traffic builders at retail, clearly drawing customers not only at theatrical release, but also again for the DVD release.
Marvel Entertainment is riding high after a one-two punch this summer (Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk) reinforced a very strong global licensing and merchandising program. Marvel has high hopes for 2010 and beyond with several titles under development including Ant-man, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers.
While Sony's Spider-Man topped the box office in 2007, Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight, which will top the box office as the No. 1 movie in 2008 with close to $1 billion in sales, gives the studio a strong licensing position not only for Batman but for the 2009 release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and in subsequent years, Batman vs. Superman and Justice League of America. In addition to the studio's commitment to a tent-pole strategy, Warner Bros. Consumer Products also is developing various merchandising programs in apparel based on its Super Girl property and healthy food/snacks based on its cartoon characters.
Other major studios continue to reevaluate their business strategies, as well, and have made significant changes to the tried and true in order to drive future growth.
Disney Consumer Products realigned its business to prepare for aggressive growth over the next five years, projecting its revenue will double to $50 billion. DCP implemented more than a dozen executive changes, and projects it will add up to 1,000 employees worldwide. In addition to its strong kids and tween licensing programs, DCP is gearing up for several movies and sequels including Hannah Montana (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Cars 2 (2011).
Twentieth Century Fox is focused on strengthening its retail partnerships worldwide and is continuing to diversify its licensing portfolio beyond core brands led by The Simpsons. The new initiatives in 2009 include Dragonball, X-Men, Night at the Museum II, Ice Age, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Avatar.
MGM Consumer Products, in an effort to double its licensing business in the next three years, established strategic partnerships with three licensing agencies—Brandgenuity, Brand Sense Partners and Jokar Productions—in order to leverage the value of its library and its brands. In 2009, MGM is developing licensing programs for several projects including Pink Panther 2 and Fame.
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