Typically, when it comes to raising the profile on a major studio horror film, studios will rest on the standard online trailer, or some sort of social media stunt. However, Warner Bros. has amassed around 35 global promotional partners for New Line’s Sept. 6 tentpole It: Chapter Two, which is arguably unprecedented for an R-rated horror pic.
Gene Garlock, EVP of Warner Bros. Worldwide Promotional Partnerships and Alliances, stated, “The fact that we were able to attract such an impressive group of partners speaks to the event status of the film franchise, and further highlights how these films have become iconic, must-see experiences on the big screen. Following the huge success of It, the brands joining us were eager to be aligned with such a powerhouse property.”
One of the big partners on the sequel to highest-grossing horror pic of all-time ($700M-plus WW) is Carl’s Jr., which is replacing its famed Happy Star’s smiling face logo with Pennywise. The logo can be seen online today, and the campaign will be seen at the burger chain’s 1,100 U.S. locations. Consumers can collect four collectible cups from the pic. The restaurant’s staff will be donning co-branded t-shirts throughout the promotion as well. The campaign will also be playing south of the border in Mexico.
WarnerMedia parent AT&T will be pushing the pic with their AT&T THANKS Loyalty Program stateside, aka “TickIT Twosdays,” with a buy-one-get-one movie ticket offer daily for multiple weeks throughout September via Fandango. The app will also offer the chance for users to see one of ten advance screenings in top cities.
National CineMedia (NCM) has an in-theater campaign for the Andy Muschietti-directed sequel, giving moviegoers an exclusive augmented reality experience through their Noovie Arcade, the companion app for NCM’s Noovie pre-show. The in-theater campaign includes AR-enhanced content running across approximately 10K-plus screens at 800-plus theaters. NCM is also hosting a sweepstakes connected to the sequel with film-themed prizes.
It: Chapter Two will be emblazoned on packages of Pop Secret popcorn, the snack brand’s first foray into the horror film genre. Pop Secret will also be served up at various Warner Bros. hosted activations, such as the sold-out flagship The IT Experience: Chapter Two in Hollywood. Support will also be provided online and via social media.
Shell and Atom Tickets will partner up for a special ticketing offer for Fuel Rewards members with Gold+ Status to see the sequel for a price closer to the amount the young Losers’ Club kids might have paid: $5 bucks. Shell will support the partnership through member e-blasts and on the Gold+ microsite.
In Mexico, It: Chapter Two will be teamed with such products as Chinese-owned rideshare app DiDi, which is activating a paid social campaign to win tickets to the local premiere. They also devised a stunted scavenger hunt, which ended in an immersive, branded experience at a fun house created to reflect the Derry Canal Days fun house in the movie. Food delivery app Postmates created an “Unhappy Meal” available to customers via a virtual pop-up restaurant decked out with red balloons and a replica of Georgie’s iconic paper boat. The app is serving movie-themed prizes, discount codes, and will also host a trivia contest to win premiere tickets. Virgin Mobile will be promoting the pic to their user base online and on social. Mexico was the third-highest grossing territory for It with $27.6M after the UK ($42.5M) and Germany ($35.4M).
In Canada, the country’s coffee store chains, Country Style, have a “turn up to win IT” cup that offers a chance to win prizes, including three grand prize trips to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.
In their first-ever promotion with a horror film, Cold Stone Creamery will create a custom flavor for the release of the film in Brazil, which will be featured in eight locations and allow customers who buy an ice cream to also receive a movie ticket. Brazil was another big fan of It with moviegoers there shelling out close to $20M.
Orange, one of the largest mobile network operators in Spain, will run an online contest for advance screening tickets and themed merchandise. And Sanrio Puroland in Japan, a popular theme park usually themed with the iconic Hello Kitty, will tie-in to the film with a sweepstakes, as well as film-themed posters and red balloons popping up around the park at night. Japan It fans spent $19.3M to see the pic in January 2018.
Opening domestic projections lie between $90M-$110M, which would make it the second-highest debut for a September release of all-time (and horror pic) after the first It ($123.4M). It was also the best opening for a horror pic worldwide with $189.7M.