They’re creepy and they’re kooky…and ready to take over retail year-round.
The Addams Family saw success on the big screen last year, with the brand’s eponymous CG-animated feature film grossing more than US$200 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. MGM supported the premiere with an extensive consumer products program that included offerings from Rubie’s Costume Company, Bioworld, Funko and Harper Collins hitting shelves in September 2019 in anticipation of the film’s October premiere.
Now, as preparations begin for the October 2021 sequel The Addams Family 2, MGM plans to take the spooky characters out of the Halloween season and build a year-round brand.
This will be achieved by focusing on two separate CP programs—one for the new CG content, and one inspired by the classic 1964 live action TV series. The two efforts will allow MGM to diversify its partnerships (inking deals with new licensees that can provide a unique spin on the classic style) and expand into new categories (apparel and accessories, for example, are expected to be an area of focus for the classic brand). Additionally, focusing on the classic TV series as a constant licensing opportunity can maintain sales in years without new CG content.
“Last year was all about the animated release, so this year with Halloween 2020 we’re leaning more heavily on the classic TV brand,” says Robert Marick, MGM’s EVP of global consumer products and experiences. “Once the selling season for Halloween 2020 concludes, we’ll be actively licensing for the 2021 sequel.”
Lifestyle items (and homewares in particular) are an area of interest moving forward for both of the sub-brands, as are seasonal products. In order to build The Addams Family into a true year-round property, audiences need to connect with the characters all the time, and not just around Halloween, says Ricardo Cruz, VP of consumer products at MGM Studios.
“When you look at Morticia and Gomez, their love for each other is ridiculous and so we could really focus on a romantic story for Valentine’s Day executions,” Cruz says. The team is also working on tongue-in-cheek ways to bring the characters’ creepy style to holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July.
Even with new CP efforts keeping the property top of mind this year, the upcoming sequel will still face a crowded slate. Many films postponed their 2020 premieres after theaters around the world closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of those delayed movies mean toys that would have hit shelves this year will also be held until 2021.
“I believe the landscape will be an advantage to us, because a lot of the studios rely really heavily on these movie releases to tell stories but The Addams Family is an evergreen franchise,” Cruz says. Because MGM is focusing both on the new CGI content and the classic TV series, retailers may feel reassured that shuttered theaters or delayed premieres will have less of an impact on sales.
“Overall, I think it will be an advantage for us,” says Cruz.