Legendary Entertainment plans to buy its own marketing agency, announcing an agreement on Thursday to buy FIVE33, which would focus exclusively on Thomas Tull's growing slate of internally developed and mostly financed films like "Pacific Rim" and "Godzilla."
Over the past several years, FIVE33 has specialized in helping studios eventize their films around the world through experiential marketing campaigns. In 2011, it built a massive pirate ship at Hollywood & Highland and ships in a bottle for malls on the east coast to hype Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."
In fact, Disney was one of the agency's larger clients, which also have included Paramount and Universal, for which it worked on "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Oblivion."
But the Legendary deal will now have FIVE33 build awareness around its new owner's tentpoles, hyping them around the world and across multiple platforms.
FIVE33 certainly has a lot to work with. Legendary's upcoming projects include fantasy tale "Seventh Son;" "Warcraft," based on the "World of Warcraft" videogames; Warren Ellis' "Gravel;" "Mass Effect" also based on the game; and Guillermo del Toro's thriller "Crimson Peak."
"Legendary now has a world-class strategic marketing team and contributor who will be accretive to our ongoing effort of delivering high-quality content to audiences everywhere," said Legendary president and chief creative officer Jon Jashni. "FIVE33's unique skill set and pedigree will be of enormous benefit to Legendary as we deliver the full potential of our brand experience and IP slate."
Timing also comes as Legendary is considering parting ways with Warner Bros., for which it has co-produced and co-financed tentpoles since 2005, starting with "Batman Begins." FIVE33 would give the company its own marketing division it can rely on to produce marketing campaigns rather than rely on a studio's team that is distributing its films.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. FIVE33, which originally opened its doors in London, operated as a privately held company.
Emily Castel founded the firm in 2007. She will remain with the company, which also operates an office in Venice, Calif.
FIVE33 already is developing promos for "Pacific Rim" and "Godzilla," which will be shown off at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to become part of Legendary's team, and to extend its product into immersive multi-platform universes," Castel said. "We look forward to extending the lifespan in the market for Legendary properties, and maintaining the integrity, creative vision and consistency of all satellite products."