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Studios Push Summer Movies with Pizza Promotions


Richard Tedesco


July 1, 2008

The movie studios releasing the latest “Mummy” and “Batman” titles obviously figure that one way to reach their young target audiences is through pizza.

Papa John’s and Domino’s Pizza are involved in separate promotions to push awareness for two major summer theatrical releases that figure to compete for box office take, offering branded pizza boxes plugging the films. Beyond the box lids, both are offering pizza specials and sweepstakes.

Papa John’s is offering three medium pizzas with three toppings each for $21. The company is branding its pizza boxes with images from “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” And it’s handing out coupons for DVDs of past incarnations of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” ($3 for one; $5 for both) with pizza purchases.

The company is also running a text-to-win contest on movie screen slides through July 27 that offers a trip to Universal Studios. And as part of its first such summer movie promotion, the pizza chain is making “Mummy”-themed gift cards available and sponsoring “Mummy”-themed games on

“We want to do something for everyone in the family,” Papa John’s spokesperson Tish Muldoon said.

It’s also collaborating with Universal on a preview screening at Universal Studios Hollywood on July 27, with plenty of Papa John’s medium pizzas to be served up afterwards. Once the movie premieres, 6 million Coca-Cola cups with Papa John’s coupons will be distributed in movie theaters.

The company will use national TV spots to build consumer awareness of its “Mummy” campaign, and is hoping for sampling of its medium-sized pies, according to Muldoon. The firm has run movie-themed promotions around most other releases, including “King Kong,” “Superman” and “Spider-Man” titles.

In “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” explorer Rick O’Connell returns to combat the resurrected Han Emperor. In the latest journey, the O’Connell and his family must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service. The movie opens Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, Domino’s is pushing a new Gotham City Pizza—with extra pepperoni—for $9.99 to help hype Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight.” Domino’s will deliver each pie in pizza boxes with elements of Batman’s signature suit, including the Bat emblem, along with Web access to content about the movie for customers who order pizza online.

In Domino’s “Dark Knight Vault,” people will be able to see exclusive footage from the movie, along with cast interviews. They can also play an instant-win game for a chance to win a “Dark Knight”-themed Xbox 360 game system.

The company is also offering a $10,000 grand prize to be delivered in a Gotham National Bank armored car as part of an online sweepstakes. Registration is available at also through July 27.

The firm is targeting an 18-to-35-year-old demographic. It’s the first movie promotion of its kind that the chain has conducted, so the company is unsure what kind of lift to expect from the promotion.

“We don’t know the answer to that question,” said Domino’s spokesperson Stacey Bednarski.

In “The Dark Knight,” Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham City for good, with the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and D.A Harvey Dent. The plan works, but the three soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as the Joker. The movie opens nationally on July 18.






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