For those who don’t know, this is the first instalment in Pullman’s award winning His Dark Materials series, and teasers have been ramping up interest on the internet for some time. The film is being tipped as a big draw for Christmas cinema goers, and the licensing programme is already in full flow, with agent The Licensing Company signing up a raft of major partners.
Corgi/Cards, Inc is the worldwide toy licensee, while the likes of Scholastic (publishing), Pyramid Posters, Sega (video games), GB Ackroyd (nightwear/underwear), Winning Moves (Top Trumps), Christy’s (dress-up) and Mr Lucky Bags (movie bags) have also inked deals with TLC.
However, the licensee list is by no means closed. “While we already have strong partners in place for the long-term, we are looking to pursue more third party promotional activity and any other relevant opportunities in the food area,” explains Lisa Shapiro, MD of TLC’s entertainment division.
“The essence of the film is visual imagination with Lyra’s journey, Iorek, epic battle scenes and other delights which have provided us with the opportunity to go to town on product.”
Initial ranges will begin to hit retail shelves from mid-November to help raise awareness for the arrival of the film on December 7th.
“The film has a lovely wintery feel, great for its Christmas release date so the timing is perfect,” Shapiro continues. And, while there may not be much competition at the box office, the release of a number of summer blockbusters onto DVD will mean there is still a contest for the Christmas gift money.
Shapiro is confident though: “Entertainment Film Distribution are fantastic at marketing their movies using initiatives via promotions and the media, meaning that this has every chance to be the Christmas movie of 2007.
“Based on Lord of the Rings, we are confident that this will be a phenomenal movie that will translate well into product, in spite of it being a relatively unknown entity.”