Starbucks is getting into the movie business
Report: Coffee firm to sell DVDs, promote films, put ads on its sleeves
Coffee chain Starbucks is setting its sights on Hollywood, according to a report in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.
The Seattle-based coffee company is expected to announce a sweeping promotional deal Thursday for the upcoming film “Akeelah and the Bee” — a move that the newspaper says marks its debut in the movie business.
The chain will aggressively promote the film, which is being distributed by the studio Lions Gate Entertainment, in its roughly 5,500 company-operated U.S. and Canadian stores, and will sell DVDs of the movie and CDs of its soundtrack in the U.S. the newspaper said, adding that in exchange for the promotion, Starbucks will get an undisclosed share of the movie’s box-office proceeds.
Starbucks will offer trivia games on its chalk boards and feature words from the film, which centers on a spelling bee, inside its pastry cases. The movie also will be promoted on coffee-cup sleeves.
At the same time, Starbucks’s entertainment division plans to begin selling DVDs of select movies alongside CDs later this year, the paper said, and has started studying screenplays and meeting with various Hollywood studios to launch film projects. Starbucks will evaluate opportunities “including getting involved in film production,” Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks entertainment, told the Journal.
The move into the movie business represents a substantial ramping up of Starbucks’s ambition to move into entertainment to differentiate itself from rivals like Dunkin’ Brands, the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts the Journal said. But the strategy could carry big risks, given the volatility in the movie industry, where films often are costly undertakings with mixed results, the paper added.