Fast food giant to push 'Museum,' 'Ice Age'

Twentieth Century Fox has landed McDonald’s as a major promotional partner, with the fast-food giant planning to push a number of films on the studio’s slate through 2010, beginning with “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”

It’s the latest example of a fast-food giant opting to pair up with a single studio for a slate of movies rather than ink one-off pacts as they did in the past. Burger King has back-to-back tie-ins with three Paramount tentpoles this summer: “Star Trek,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”

Deal is reminiscent of McDonald’s previous long-term partnership with Disney, an exclusive deal that lasted for 10 years and ended in 2006.

At the time, McDonald’s was attracted to the Mouse House’s family-friendly pics, the tie-in to which enabled it to sell more Happy Meals. Fox’s “Museum” and “Ice Age” appeal to the same demo.

Beginning this month, McDonald’s will offer themed Happy Meals for those pics, complete with custom toys, at its restaurants around the world.

In addition, McDonald’s will create original TV spots for the pics featuring animation and visual effects provided by Fox. Traditional tie-ins usually offer up only clips from movies.

Animated spots for “Museum” will try to make history appealing for kids and send them to McWorld, an online environment with games and other content, at HappyMeal.com.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but McDonald’s operates more than 32,000 locations in 100 countries and boasts a hefty marketing budget, which will provide Fox with some major marketing muscle to push its pics — especially in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Twentieth Century Fox has done fast-food deals in the past, but its new pact with McDonald’s is by far the biggest for the studio.

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