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His upcoming superhero movie, Deadpool, will have a major presence surrounding the Feb. 7 football game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. — and not just in terms of a likely TV spot, insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter. Numerous publicity events are being planned for the film, which Fox and Marvel Studios open in theaters Feb. 12, just days after the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers gather on the field.
Deadpool isn’t the only Fox title using the game and convergence of the world’s press to whip up headlines. The cast of Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24), including Liam Hemsworth and Jeff Goldblum, will attend the Super Bowl, while one or two actors from X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27) could be on hand. Major on-the-ground events are also planned for those titles, as well as sports comedy Eddie the Eagle (Feb. 26), but insiders are keeping mum as to what they are.
In terms of Deadpool, Reynolds will commandeer a food truck on Friday night and hand out chimichangas, Deadpool’s favorite food. And on Saturday, Fox and Marvel Studios will take over a locale adjacent to the stadium — renaming in Sister Margaret’s Bar after the watering hole in the movie — for the official press junket. Amid interviews, Reynolds and co-star T.J. Miller will play darts and serve drinks, in addition to other antics.
On Friday night, Deadpool will play at the Imax AMC Metreon in downtown San Francisco. While it’s the official junket screening, sources say football players and other sports figures will be in attendance. Fox also will promote Deadpool heavily on social media throughout Super Bowl weekend, including taking over Snapchat on Sunday.
The Super Bowl, broadcast this year on CBS, is the most-watched live television event of any given year, providing Hollywood an unparalleled opportunity to build awareness for their films. Last year, 114.4 million people watched the game on NBC. The pre-game show is also a popular landing pad.
Disney will also have a major presence during the Super Bowl and pregame show, and could advertise multiple titles, sources tell THR. Its upcoming release slate includes The Jungle Book (April 15) and Captain America: Civil War (May 6). There’s also Zootopia (March 4), Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27) and Finding Dory (June 17). And, of course, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dec. 16).
The asking price for a 30-second spot this year is more costly than ever at $4.6 million to $5 million. According to sources, Fox has bought two 30-second spots during the game, Universal has bought a 60-second spot and Paramount a 30-second spot. Sony and Warner Bros. are sitting this year out, according to insiders. There also will be several movie ads during the pre-kickoff show.
While Warner Bros. hasn’t bought an ad proper, it’s possible a promotional partner could plug Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, in their spot, sources say. (Rival studios say they wouldn’t be surprised if some of the cast were at the Super Bowl.)
Paramount will advertise Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3) during the game.
Disney and Universal aren’t saying which titles they’ll promote, but chances are good that Universal will use the game to reveal the official name of its upcoming Bourne installment (Aug. 8), according to a Facebook post from Bourne author Eric Van Lustbader (he appears to now have deleted the item). Other possibilities include The Huntsman’s Winter War (April 22) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (May 20).
Fox likewise declined to say exactly which movie spots it will air during the game and preshow. Deadpool would be the likely candidate, along with X-Men, Independence Day and Eddie the Eagle (Feb. 26).
Deadpool — a passion project for Reynolds — follows the adventures of Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool), a foul-mouthed, witty superhero who was bestowed with special powers after going through an experimental treatment for cancer. The actor first appeared as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In Deadpool, the superhero searches out the men who subjected him to the treatment.
Directed by Tim Miller, the film also stars Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein and Gina Carano.
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