Monday, March 9, 2015

Disney's Next Princess Blockbuster: Cinderella

The Disney princess juggernaut has a new blockbuster due out on March 13: Cinderella, a live-action retelling (with updates) of the traditional glass-slipper story.

Some of the pre-release publicity centers on the Downton Abbey stars who star in Cinderella. Lily James, who plays "Lady Rose" on the posh PBS drama, plays "Ella" (aka Cinderella) who waits on her ugly stepsister Drizella, played by Sophie McShera, the actress who is "Daisy the kitchen assistant" at Downton. A nice promotional twist to draw in adult viewers.

After the incredible global success of the animated movie Frozen and the ongoing interest in all things princess, Disney anticipates a big opening weekend for Cinderella--more than $60 million at the box office. Of course, it won't hurt Cinderella's appeal to have a new Frozen featurette debut before the movie is shown.

Needless to say, Disney sees lots of cross-marketing opportunities, including a souvenir popcorn bucket featuring Cinderella to be sold at Disney theme parks.

JC Penney is one of the retailers with merchandise tie-ins (see photo above). This week, the retailer is running a mobile marketing campaign with rewards and sweepstakes for shoppers who scan the glass slipper signs in stores that feature the special Disney displays.

Even before Cinderella debuts, its Facebook page has more than 13 million likes.

UPDATE: Cinderella's first weekend was a major hit, with $70 million in box office receipts.

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