News for Sep. 06, 2005

Let The King Kong Domination Begin!

9/06/05, 11:54 am EST - Xoanon

Universal Studios Announces Promotional Partnerships For Worldwide Theatrical Release of Universal Pictures' King Kong

LOS ANGELES, September 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Studios has made agreements with a select group of brand partners to promote the worldwide December 14, 2005 theatrical release of director Peter Jackson's highly-anticipated action-adventure film "King Kong", it was announced today by Stephanie Sperber, Executive Vice President, Universal Studios Partnerships.

The marketing alliances, which include such globally recognized brands as Volkswagen, Kellogg's, Toshiba, Chase, the City of New York, Nestle and Burger King, represent the first full-scale implementation of the studio's new partnerships strategy under the year-old Universal Studios Partnerships (USP) division. USP was formed in June 2004 by combining Universal's theatrical and home entertainment promotions and corporate partnership groups into a single unit.

"We've listened carefully to what our partners have told us, and we have responded by creating innovative alliances that we believe will be extremely effective both for our partners and for our entertainment properties," said Sperber. "For instance, one of the things we heard from our partners was that they want a less cluttered field. So we've taken a 'quality over quantity' approach, limiting alliances to only those that provide a clear strategic fit. We also heard a desire for exclusive access to unique content and a more collaborative approach to creative campaigns, and we're thrilled to have been able to deliver both with "King Kong"."

Highlights of the "King Kong" partnerships include:

Several of the corporate partners announced today, including Volkswagen, Kellogg's, Toshiba, Chase, Nestle and New York City, will also be involved in cross-promotional efforts for "King Kong"'s home entertainment release. Universal has been an industry leader in alliances across multiple entertainment distribution platforms. DVD-exclusive partnerships will be announced in the future.

"King Kong" director Peter Jackson and his colleagues have taken an active role in the partnership process, participating in a global summit on the film's New Zealand locations, where key executives from partner corporations experienced an immersive tour of all facets of the production. In an unprecedented move, select partner TV commercials for "King Kong" are being developed in conjunction with the "King Kong" production company, with digital effects produced by Weta Digital, Jackson's award-winning effects company. This was done to ensure seamless presentation of the "Kong" assets tied to brand images. "This lends our partners' spots a level of authenticity that only the filmmakers could bring," said Sperber. "It also allows for unique product integration with a film in which there is no modern-day product placement."

Universal Pictures' "King Kong", a new version of the classic adventure story first brought to the screen in the 1933 RKO motion picture, is directed by triple-Academy Award(R) winner Peter Jackson ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) and stars Oscar(R) nominee Naomi Watts ("21 Grams", "The Ring"), Jack Black ("School of Rock") and Oscar(R) winner Adrien Brody ("The Pianist"). It is co-written by Jackson's three-time Oscar(R)-winning partner Fran Walsh, their "Lord of the Rings" co-writer Philippa Boyens and Jackson. "King Kong" is produced by Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Walsh and Jackson under their WingNut Films banner. The film will be released worldwide on December 14, 2005.

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

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Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Universal Studios