Before we get into this week's brand cameos on the big screen, we thought we'd share this adorable high concept short, in which "George Lucas" is kidnapped after 1980's Empire Strikes Back and an imposter (a Lucalike?) intent on destroying his legacy takes his place.
The upcoming (June 24th) Cameron Diaz vehicle, Bad Teacher, looks hilarious. Given the buzz, we expect it to do well above expected box office. We also expect it to reap well above expected levels of criticism for product placement.
Just look at the trailer: Nike. Sony Ericsson. Dunkin' Donuts. Under Armour. Jim Beam.
Also opening this week are two thematically opposed films. The first is Beginners, about a man whose elderly father, after a long marriage, admits he's gay. We've already caught one product placement in the trailer (Appe) — not that there's anything wrong with that.
The only other movie opening nationwide in the US this weekend, X-Men: First Class, doesn't stand a chance of toppling The Hangover 2 juggernaut, although it may make a dent in Kung Fu Panda 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4.
The X-Men prequel, which sees the gang learning their super-power ropes, has already brought one interesting piece of cross promotion — the Farmers Insurance TV commercial in which X-Men character Beast is an exchange (ahem, X-Change) student at the Farmers University — although the movie's marketers missed a huge viral marketing opportunity.
X-Men is the second installment in the Summer of Marvel, a film season that will see Thor, X-Men and Captain America hit the big screen. It's a far cry from what Marvel films used to be. Remember 1986's Howard the Duck? That was a Marvel film.
Duck was also a George Lucas film, which, hey, maybe those guys are on to something!