×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chuck E. Cheese’s Chooses Animated ‘Free Birds’ as First Film Promo

Film's producer Reel FX had worked with family-friendly chain to redesign its mouse mascot

Free Birds,” the animated pic from Reel FX that Relativity Media will release Nov. 1, will become the first film that Chuck E. Cheese’s has agreed to promote.

The marketing milestone is surprising for the family eatery, given its audience.

But as companies increasingly turn to tie-ins with various forms of entertainment as ways to stand out with their consumers, it’s no surprise that Chuck E. Cheese’s is among the newest to embrace Hollywood.

The restaurant chain will back the “Free Birds” release with TV commercials, print and online ads, in-store signage and giveaways, radio broadcasts and offer an exclusive line of “Free Birds” merchandise at 520 of its locations nationwide, the company said. A “Rock-N-Wristband” promo, running in stores Sept. 15-Nov. 30, will let kids collect one of four wristbands featuring the Chuck E. mascot, his guitar or characters Jake and Reggie from the film with the purchase of any pizza or value deal.

Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler and Woody Harrelson voice characters in the Thanksgiving-themed film about two turkeys from opposite sides of the track who must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history and get turkey off the menu for good.

“The opportunity to partner on a major motion picture is a first for Chuck E. Cheese’s, and one that we are extremely excited about,” said Scott McDaniel, chief marketing officer for CEC Entertainment, Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company. “We’ve spent the last year introducing our new, contemporized mascot to all of our guests, and now we’re ready for the silver screen. In Reel FX and Relativity, we’ve found partners whose goal to make families laugh and smile resonates with Chuck E.’s philosophy.”

For Relativity, Chuck E. Cheese’s provides the company with a partner that brings together families it can put its animated toon in front of in a unique way.

“With the timing of this release, we’re getting into the part of the season when families start spending a lot of time together at the movies, going out to eat and playing games,” said Joshua Pollack, president corporate and strategic partnerships and global brand management, Relativity.

Reel FX already had a relationship with Chuck E. Cheese’s, having worked on the company’s commercials and played a key role in redesigning its mouse mascot. Both companies are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas.

Reel FX launched its film arm in 2010 and is also working on Guillermo del Toro’s “The Book of Life,” and “Beasts of Burden,” an adaptation of a Dark Horse Comics title.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content