Even though 2008 was a good year for the box office, budgetary concerns remain foremost in many studios' thoughts. What better way to help shore up cash intake than to make movies with huge merchandising potential? Look at the blockbuster Transformers, for example. Hasbro will be following up with a sequel, as well as movies based on their board games, like Candy Land, Monopoly, and the ol' party-pleaser, the Oujia board. Not to be outdone, Mattel will be getting into the action with a live-action Barbie movie and a movie revolving around their Hot Wheels toy line. Man, it's like the Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour come to life.
For inspiration, Mattel has reportedly been looking to movies like Mad Max and The Fast and the Furious. Barry Waldo, VP for entertainment and marketing, says Mattel doesn't want to make a movie-length commercial, but come on. It might not be just a commercial, but it'll still be a big, long plug for their product. It'd be like if Levi's had made those Traveling Pants movies, or if Mead had made The Notebook. Or if Pepto-Bismol had made The Love Guru.
Waldo promises the cars won't be talking, but you can bet the message will still be coming through loud and clear: Buy lots and lots of Hot Wheels brand toys, kids!