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Miramax spies potential in kid market

Miramax will enter a new dimension next year with the March 30 release of Spy Kids. The film marks the studio's first foray into kid flicks, as well as its first-ever master toy license and QSR tie-in. Lori Sale, Miramax's senior...
November 1, 2000

Miramax will enter a new dimension next year with the March 30 release of Spy Kids. The film marks the studio’s first foray into kid flicks, as well as its first-ever master toy license and QSR tie-in. Lori Sale, Miramax’s senior VP of worldwide promotions, likens the venture to the natural progression of life’s firsts. ‘I think it happens to all of us: You get married, you have kids, and suddenly this whole new world of entertainment captures your attention,’ she muses. ‘I think that’s what’s happening at Miramax and Dimension-a lot of the senior executives have children.’

What is so special about this market entry is that both Miramax and its Dimension Films division will produce family films in a different way, says Sale. Different indeed. While Miramax produces mainly art house fare, Dimension is known for horror-genre franchises such as Scream

and Hellraiser. The family films that each studio produces, in turn, will reflect their parent brands. Miramax family films will be ‘stunning stories with beautiful images; family film-making that would leave a legacy.’ Dimension family films, of which Spy Kids is one, will be edgier, fun, quirky and laden with special effects. Dimension’s first family film has attracted some of Hollywood’s edgy and quirky talent, like Cheech Marin, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher and Antonio Banderas.

Already this first movie, which sees two children taking up espionage to save their former-spy parents, is pulling in blue-chip promo partners and licensees. At press time, Miramax listed Isuzu, Foster Grant, Frito-Lay, Hi-C, Pop Rocks and McDonald’s among the film’s partners, with Isuzu’s new Axiom vehicle making its debut as the film’s ‘spymobile.’

Licensing for Spy Kids is being handled by Malibu Licensing Group. Trendmasters has signed on as the master toy licensee, and Buster Brown as the shoe licensee. At press time, licenses for apparel, Halloween costumes and video games were still available.

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