No Orlando Bloom.
No Kiera Knightly.
Nobody is likely to notice, as long as Jack Sparrow is a-plunderin’. Penelope Cruz has been added to the cast, and as her character poster shows, she was chosen for her skills with a broad-sword. Disney Studios was incapable of letting their cash-cow pirate films just end with three installments, given that globally the series has rolled nearly $2.7 billion in revenues. Disney feels there are more than a few more doubloons to wring from the franchise; however this is not purely a case of a studio being driven beyond a trilogy for avarice sake.
Disney Publishing will have a glut of reading products linked to the film’s release, with the notable exception of the full scale novel. That is due to this film being adapted from an earlier work, since the studio reached a deal with novelist Tim Powers years ago. Shortly after the release of the first film Disney optioned Powers’ novel On Stranger Tides, originally published in 1987, with the intention of developing it into a script if they ever saw fit to make a fourth installment in the series. The author is likely to see a renewed interest in his original work. To date Disney publishing has sold over 16 million “Pirates”-related books worldwide.
Kids are of course the focus of some of the marketing. Disney is producing a wide array of playtime products, from costumes and weapons to clothing and games. You certainly already own the “Pirates of the Caribbean” Monopoly game, so how can you feel an entertainment connection? I would go with the chalice-shaped Yatzee game.
Lego is a player for the film in two ways. They are releasing another video game based on a film with characters portrayed as Lego toys, as they have in the past with Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. They also have a full line of toys tied-in to the film. You can get many incarnations replicating scenes from throughout the franchise, including this complex galleon with characters, retailing for a stiff $120.00.
Another toy supplier is Jakks Pacific, releasing a line of action figures. One unique aspect to some of the character figures is the “zombie reveal” feature. These are figurines that have a special paint scheme that becomes visible under ultra-violet lighting, (black light source is included). These alter the appearance of the characters into ghoulish specters. Well, maybe with the exception of the “Angelica” version. Hers actually comes off as less frightening and more like what Penelope Cruz may look like when she goes to bed with a facial cleansing mask.
One of the licensed cross-promotions involves a natural fit, of sorts. The snack food company Pirate’s Booty is the official food collaborator for the movie. They issued a limited time packaging that features the skull and crossbones motif from the initial teaser poster featuring Jack Sparrow’s garb on the bones. The company is also staging a contest to win a trip to the Caribbean.
Not all of the marketing tie-ins make as much sense as that. Or, for that matter, at all. The pirate storyline and all the visuals from the movies instill many reactions, and fans expect a number of products as a result. Toys, and food stuffs, seem natural enough. I am not sure however how many people expect to find the official nail polish of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and yet that very dream is now possible.
Women’s beauty product supplier OPI has a full line of nail gloss to go with the movie’s release. Seven colors are linked to the film in what are called “trend-setting shades”. These include the named colors Mermaid’s Tears, Strangers Tides, Planks a Lot, Sparrow Me The Tears, Steady as She Rose, Skull & Glossbones, and most exciting of all, Silver Shatter. This last one produces a cracked effect on the nails after application. As they describe it, “It’s Arg-uably the coolest thing you’ll ever see!” (That sure seems to put viewing the movie itself into perspective.)
Swarovsky Crystal is also a partner, supplying a number of jewelry selections branded to the film, including some selections that are worn by Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in the film. There is buccaneer bling in the likes of a necklace with Angelica’s swords ($115), a pirate flag pendant ($140), and even a replica of Jack’s iconic compass ($255).
Sure there could be some who thinks this is a bit of extravagance with a film’s tie-in products. I might remind that the thrust of these films very often concerns the acquisition of gems and gold, so there is a bit of synergy in this. Of course if you are in the camp thinking this is too much to spend on movie paraphernalia then you certainly will not be interested in the line of high-end designer handbags and scarves.
The Hayden-Harnett company offers up a collection of carriers that are patterned and named after many of the players, delivering to women that rare combination of haute couture with the direct connection to movie pirates. You can select from items the Barbossa indexer wallet, in cannon color and limited to an edition of 50 ($168). You can also choose the Sparrow drawstring purse, which has a magnetic closure “for easy opening and closing while fighting off the armada.” ($398). Additionally there is the Galleon satchel in luxe whiskey-colored leather ($498).
At these prices for some of these movie items fans may end up having to join up with the Somali pirates just to support their passions.