This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Thor Beats X-Men in Movie Marketing Smackdown

Stocks in this article: MVL NEWS DIS BKC DPS

Studio: Paramount
Budget: Roughly $150 million
Marketing: When your strongest weapon has a name like Mjolnir, it might be best to introduce yourself to audiences early. The marketing for Thor started at the tail end of Iron Man 2, when a scene after the credits featured a secret government organization coming across what looked like Thor's hammer. From there, Thor was introduced to America in just about the broadest way possible: Through a $3 million, 30-second ad during Super Bowl XLV.

From there, the marketers jumped aboard as Acura (HMC) announced that its vehicles would appear in Thor as the official car of super spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D., which already appeared in Hulk and Iron Man films and likely means more partnerships for films leading into The Avengers. 7-Eleven, meanwhile, jumps on with Marvel for the eighth time to provide 10 Thor-themed Slurpee cups. Burger King, true to form, will pack Thor toys into kids meals, while Dr. Pepper will feature the Norse god on its cans. Visa (V), meanwhile, is being a little more adult about its comic book business and letting Visa Signature cardholders get ticket deals through Sega, meanwhile, already released a video game for the film earlier this week, while Hasbro (HAS) has released a line of Thor-themed toys.

"There's always a risk of a sponsor getting lost in the mix, but there's a greater risk," Greenfield says. "The biggest issue is not being lost in the white noise, but a product breaking my suspension of disbelief even for a moment, like in music videos where the screen pauses on an object to get it more screen time."

The gamble's worked out for the sponsors so far, as Thor has made $116 million before even setting foot in the U.S.

X-Men: First Class
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Budget: $120 million
Marketing: When Fox execs named this film X-Men: First Class, maybe they were referring to the first Photoshop class their marketing department took before making the movie's much-maligned posters.

That's pretty much been the story of how the marketing for this film has proceeded so far: Lots of mystery, little information. We know that Hasbro's creating a toy line for the film, so that's good. We also know British singer Robbie Williams and his relic of a British boy band Take That are contributing a song to the film's soundtrack. Knowing this film's geeky and primarily male target demographic, that move's understandable, but still likely ill-advised.

The problem is that Marvel's treated this film like its redheaded stepchild almost from the jump, preferring to keep its marketing and publicity behind Thor and the upcoming Captain America to the point that those two films share many of the same sponsors. In contrast to Thor, whose first theatrical trailers appeared in December, X-Men: First Class' Web teaser didn't appear until February and its full trailers didn't crop up until the end of April.

Even if Marvel regulars such as 7-Eleven, Burger King and Dr. Pepper were jumping aboard for X-Men, the month between the two films doesn't leave a lot of room for turnaround time or a lot of leeway if Thor is an Iron Man-style success. We'll just disregard the fact that First Class shares little with the previous X-Men films besides a common ancestry, that two years after X-Men Origins: Wolverine may be just a touch early for a series reboot and that fans who know of an X-Men Origins: Deadpool film in the planning stages and a potential third sequel to the original X-Men film in the works might just take a pass on this loosely associated one-off. The fact that Marvel and 20th Century Fox themselves have put so little weight behind it shows why marketers have been so tight-lipped about potential tie-ins.

The winner: Thor, by a hammer-to-the-temple knockout

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.


Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs