From the Theater to Store

While it's not officially summertime yet, the summer movie season kicked off this month with hype, hoopla and Hugh (Jackman, that is) as Marvel's superhero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox). The movie premiered

April 6, 2018

3 Min Read

While it's not officially summertime yet, the summer movie season kicked off this month with hype, hoopla and Hugh (Jackman, that is) as Marvel's superhero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox). The movie premiered as the first film in what is poised to be another blockbuster lineup and record-breaking year at the box office worldwide. i1_574.jpg

And during these difficult economic times, the entertainment sector could help drive retail sales, as well, considering the mega licensing efforts behind many of this year's theatrical releases.

In fact, total box office sales are projected to hit $11 billion in the U.S., according to the Motion Picture Association of America, up from $9.8 billion in 2008.

Furthermore, consumer confidence, according to the Conference Board Index, increased last month to 39.2 from 26.9 in March, offering a glimmer of hope that consumers were becoming a little more optimistic.

In addition to X-Men Origins, May releases include, Star Trek (Paramount/CBS Consumer Products), Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (Fox) and Up (Disney/Pixar).

June releases are likely to be dominated by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, (Paramount and Hasbro), which could be one of the largest-grossing movies of the summer.

July releases include Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Warner Bros.), which also could be one of the top hits of the summer.

August releases are likely to be overshadowed by G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Paramount and Hasbro), based on the iconic toy from the 1960s.

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And later in the year, several films that will help drive retail sales include December's Princess and the Frog (Disney), which will mark the arrival of the first new princess in more than 10 years. (See "Disney Princess").

And then there's the next Twilight movie, New Moon (Summit Entertainment), in November. This film, based on the book by Stephenie Meyer, is one of the best examples of how a small-budget movie became a huge success and was largely responsible for a 19 percent increase in profits at Hot Topic during the fourth quarter of last year. Merchandise sales have remained strong at Hot Topic through spring as the specialty retailer attributed its 6.2 percent increase in same-store sales in March to Twilight merchandise.

Hot Topic took a risk with a teenage vampire romance movie and a relatively unknown cast. The movie was produced on a $40 million budget and has grossed over $380 million worldwide. Now almost every retailer covets a piece of the Twilight phenomenon and certainly the next hot title.

Looking ahead to 2010, there's yet an even potentially stronger lineup of films that includes a few sequels and some new properties: Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, Shrek Goes Fourth, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The A-Team, Toy Story 3, The Green Hornet, Twilight 3 and The Last Airbender.

There's no doubt that entertainment licensing has become one of the most important traffic builders for retailers worldwide. And with the Licensing International Expo just a few weeks away, June 2 to 4, the search is on not only for the next blockbuster movie, but for the next hot property, as well.

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