Without the benefit of a previous film or highly recognized image, Walt Disney Pictures has its work cut out for it with the June 21 release of "The Rocketeer," which reportedly cost $35 million to produce. The movie features Alan Arkin and Timothy Dalton in leading roles, but the title character is played by relative unknown William O. Campbell, who previously had a minor role on the TV series "Dynasty."
Disney reportedly plans a major television advertising campaign to sell "The Rocketeer," which is based on the character from a not very well known comic book of the same name about a daring pilot who flies using a rocket pack.
Expect to see corporate tie-ins for "The Rocketeer"--nearly 30 in all, including such products as M&Ms and Mars candies, fashions, toys and watches. Disney says it will also utilize its publishing, merchandising and Disney Channel subsidiaries to promote the film, as it did with "Dick Tracy."
Then, along about July, watch for Disney to go all out for its re-release of the 1961 animated favorite "101 Dalmatians." According to the trade paper Advertising Age, Disney will team with McDonald's for a "Happy Meal" promotion, Mattel will introduce a plush toy dog line and 35 million specially marked Cheerios boxes will have "101 Dalmatians" toy coupons inside.