Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) revealed a robust 2019-2021 lineup of global licensing and merchandising opportunities and innovative partnerships worldwide. The year’s partnerships extend the reach of the studio’s largest properties, showcasing its brands, entrepreneurial spirit, and diverse content across film and television.
“Sony Pictures Consumer Products has established itself as a true innovator in the licensing and merchandising space by leaning in and listening to fans, developing content across the studio’s dynamic film and television franchises, and identifying new ways for consumers to purchase products,” said Jamie Stevens, executive vice-president, Sony Pictures Consumer Products. “This entrepreneurial approach to consumer products has drawn licensees and partners from around the world, eager to work with SPCP to more effectively reach and engage fans beyond just the programmatic or theatrical windows.”
GHOSTBUSTERS 35TH ANNIVERSARY
With next year’s release of the newest Ghostbusters film, directed by Jason Reitman and written by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan, the franchise leads the SPCP 2019 lineup. The franchise’s long history and its introduction to new fans will allow SPCP to reach fans through a variety of touchpoints that speak to the story’s nostalgia and longevity. A yearlong celebration is planned with fan events, activations, new products and more to mark the original film’s 35th anniversary.
The Ghostbusters Fan Fest includes partnerships, events, and releases such as the Ultimate Fan Experience, which will take place at the Sony Pictures Studios lot on June 8 and will allow fans to experience multiple Ghostbusters activations, see exclusive content, meet members of the original cast, and more.
An IDW Publishing collaboration will bring together the Ghostbusters and Transformers franchises for a comic book miniseries debuting in June. Written and illustrated by the longtime fan-favorite Ghostbusters creative team of Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, and Luis Antonio Delgado. Transformers/Ghostbusters will span five issues, with the first issue’s variant covers featuring art from Dan Schoening, Paulina Ganucheau, Nick Roche, and Alex Milne.
Saber Interactive will release an HD remaster of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the action-adventure game which allows fans to team up with their favorite characters voiced by the original cast. The game is expected to launch later this year on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC.
Designer collaborations will also offer retro fashions inspired by Ghostbusters while unique, classic licensed products from top-tier partners will appeal to new fans and collectors. Additional licensee partnerships will launch top quality products, such as hand-crafted fine jewelry from Bixler’s, apparel, accessories, home and travel products from Cotton-On, men’s footwear from K-Swiss, plus apparel from Cakeworthy, among others.
The celebration continues into 2020 with the release of the new Ghostbusters film in July and a program across all categories.
MEN IN BLACK
The release of Men in Black: International on June 14 will expand the $1.6 billion global film franchise with a worldwide audience of all-ages and new releases in toys and collectibles, video games, apparel, action figures and more.
With millions of fans worldwide, the new quest will also unveil domestic licensed product partnerships with Funko, WETA, Ludare, Paul Smith, Lootcrate, Titan Publishing and more. International partnerships include Blitzway, creator of specialized action figures and statues; Alibaba, the multi-national retailer; footwear and accessories company Fashion UK; and skate and streetwear brand JOYRICH.
Sony Pictures’ highest grossing movie of all time in the U.S. is back with the sequel on December 13, 2019. Earning more than $962 million in worldwide box office, the film, led by Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan reintroduced fans across the globe to the franchise. The film is directed by Jake Kasdan, and written by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner and Jake Kasdan, based on the book Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.
In the spirit of Jumanji gameplay, 2019 products include the revamped Jumanji board game from Cardinal Games. The franchise has also established apparel partnerships with Bioworld and Amazon; kids footwear with Shoe Palace; home decor, including bath accessories, sleeping bags, and more, from Franco Manufacturing; Pop! vinyl figures from Funko; holiday ornaments and other novelty items by Surreal Entertainment; an escape room from 60out; and mobile and interactive gaming products.
Key licensing programs for titles for 2020-2021 include:
- Director Will Gluck returns with Peter Rabbit 2 in February 2020, written by Patrick Burleigh and Will Gluck. James Corden, Rose Byrne, and Domhnall Gleeson return for a new adventure with the mischievous rabbit.
- Based on the best-selling comic book series, Bloodshot introduces a new breed of hero: an unstoppable assassin driven by nanotechnology. Vin Diesel will bring the character from Valiant Comics to life in February 2020. Fans can delve deeper into the Bloodshot story with video games, toys and collectibles, action figures, apparel, electronics, games, publishing and more. The film is directed by Dave Wilson, and written by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer, based on the Valiant Comic book.
- Vivo, the first-ever musical from Sony Pictures Animation, is an epic adventure featuring all-new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s set for release holiday 2020. SPCP will unveil a multi-category licensing program in support of the animated film, including consumer products ranging from musical instruments, toys and apparel to home goods, publishing and interactive gaming.
- SPCP will also roll out an expansive cross-category program in support of the 2021 release of Hotel Transylvania 4.
In addition, SPCP has leading programs for television franchises including Outlander, Cobra Kai, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and more.
With a global fan base estimated to be more than 25 million strong, spanning 36 languages and 38 countries, Outlander has connected with viewers through a variety of consumer products. With season five on the horizon on STARZ, viewers can add to their collection of fan-based products with calendars, posters, collectibles, drinkware, trading cards and prop and costume replicas, in addition to lifestyle products like shawls, tams, fashion accessories and jewelry.
Licensing partners include fine-jeweler Bixler’s; Scottish Highland wear company The Celtic Croft; Making of Books and the Knitting Book from Random House Publishing; and Silver Screen Bottling Company with bourbon, whiskey, and liqueur. Retailers of Outlander-branded products range from grocery stores and mass specialty stores to high-end fashion retailers and more. In addition, Hot Topic and Torrid will release exclusive collections inspired by the show. SPCP also partnered with The Araca Group to expand the official Outlander store, an online destination for direct access to show merchandise.
The return of the arch-rivals from the legendary Karate Kid films, reunite in season two of the YouTube Premium series Cobra Kai. Following 10 episodes and a 98-percent increase in the Karate Kid social media fan base, season two premiered in April with the culmination of the Cobra Kai and Miyagi Dojo philosophies going head to head.
The Cobra Kai brand will reach audiences through apparel, accessories, collectibles, interactive products, publishing and costumes, with partners such as Funko, NECA, Bioworld, Active Brand Commerce, Fifth Sun, Silver Screen Bottling Company, Spirit Halloween, Surreal Entertainment, Party City, IDW Publishing and more. The official Cobra Kai store launched in December 2018 from The Araca Group to give fans direct access to exclusive products that celebrate the classic and newly reimagined brand. In addition, fans are now able to shop for product as they watch the show thanks to the collaboration with YouTube and Teespring.
BREAKING BAD AND BETTER CALL SAUL
Breaking Bad, which first premiered on AMC in January 2008, continues its legacy as it streams all seasons across the most popular platforms, reaching new fans every day in more than 170 territories worldwide.
Launching later this year, an all-new mobile game from FTX Games will allow players to interact with their favorite characters and take part in the Empire Business, in addition Rust Belt Brewing will releasing a new Breaking Bad beer.
The Emmy-nominated spin-off prequel, Better Call Saul will return for season five and, with it, comes a new collection of consumer products such as cufflinks, backpacks, eyewear, belts and more collectibles from Kick Off Games and Bobbleheads, mobile applications from Bare Tree Media and trade books from St. Martin’s Press.