Are you ready for …

So here we are, Bastille Day behind us, the latest Harry Potter movie just opened and the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing coming up this weekend. All great opportunities to flog some stuff on Trade Me — did you?

Yes, there’s still time to list some lunar droppings on Trade MeĀ  — personal letter from Neil Armstrong, perhaps, thanking you for the flight training lessons — but the reality is that you should be planning a little further ahead. You should look at the promotional calendar in TRADE ME SUCCESS SECRETS to note the regular seasonal highlights of the next couple of months. Events peculiar to 2009 include the following movies (which just might lead to some merchandising sales opportunities:

AUGUST

Coraline and the Secret Door
Animated tale from Henry Selick, writer/director of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, based on the book by Neil Gaiman. Eleven-year-old Coraline walks through a secret door and discovers a parallel reality. Voice credits: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French. Our view: distinctive animation and a quirky storyline may limit this movie’s mainstream appeal but it’s likely to attract a passionate following amongst young urbanites.


G. I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra

The world’s favourite ‘poseable action figure’ turns into high-octane action with this big budget makeover. Your toybox will never look the same. Our view: the producers took a look at what Michael Bay had done to Transformers (explosions! mayhem! more explosions!) and chose the same route for G I Joe. This is an ideal vehicle if you want to reach males who like to watch stuff blow up.

  • Already decades of G.I. Joe merchandise on sale on Trade Me, but if you have something rare, NOW would be the time.

Case 39
A social worker (Renee Zellweger) fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected. A mix of crime, suspense and horror. Our view: creepy, will appeal to twenty-somethings who like to be scared out of their wits.

  • Good time to promote other Renee Zellweger stuff — posters, previous movies etc

Inglourious Basterds
In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. Blood-splattered Quentin Tarantino directs, Brad Pitt (sporting an atrocious Southern accent) stars — what else do you need to know? Our view: for those who enjoy blood, guts, gore. Best avoided if your brand has a weak heart or a tender disposition.

  • Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, what’s not to sell?

The Young Victoria
This year’s historical drama/romance with a royal theme: a dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend portray the two young lovers Victoria and Albert in what’s described as “a touching romance and a gripping human drama”. Our view: good association for products appealing to older women or those of a monarchist persuasion.

  • Royal memorabilia rocks!

District 9
Peter Jackson produces this sci-fi morality tale of an extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly find a kindred spirit in a government agent that is exposed to their biotechnology. Our view: set in South Africa, this film draws interesting parallels with apartheid. Given its local provenance, could do well with older Kiwi audiences.

  • Time to sell off that Peter Jackson collection

SEPTEMBER

The Taking of Pelham 123
Denzel Washington, John Travolta and James Gandolfini star in this remake of the popular 1974 original and do a good job by all accounts. Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day’s work for dispatcher Walter Garbe (Washington) into a face-off with the mastermind (Travolta) behind the crime. Our view: pretty good for a remake.

  • Anything from Denzel Washington, John Travolta or James Gandolfini (Sopranos)

Up
Animated adventures of 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen, who sets out (by tying thousands of balloon to his home) to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Currently topping the US box office. Our view: solid family fare, appealing to all ages.

  • Look here for Up merchandise (books, soundtrack)

Aliens In The Attic
A group of kids must protect their vacation home from invading aliens. Think family movie, with the next holidays just around the corner. Our view: another family favourite in the making.

  • Great toys from the folk who bought you AITA (see here to learn more about them)

Funny People
When seasoned comedian George Simmons (Adam Sandler) learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship cause him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act. Our view: the writer/director Judd Apatow (director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up) says he’s “trying to make a very serious movie that is twice as funny as [his] other movies”. The trailer suggests a reasonable attempt.

  • Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow. Lots of stuff around for both.

Imagine That
What if your daughter’s imagination… was the secret to your success? Eddie Murphy stars as a financial executive who can’t stop his career downspiral. Then he’s invited into his daughter’s imaginary world, where he magically finds solutions to his problems. Our view: terminally cute Eddie Murphy vehicle. Variety rated it “…an undemandingly pleasant, mildly amusing fantasy…” which has done average business at the American box office.

We figure the potential for the remaining September titles is pretty obvious:
Shorts
From Robert Rodriguez (director Of ‘Spy Kids’): A young boy’s discovery of a colorful, wish-granting rock causes chaos in the suburban town of Black Falls when jealous kids and scheming adults alike set out to get their hands on it. Our view: good appeal to the kids, with fun gadgets, silly jokes and town bullies who get their comeuppance. Useful association for family-focussed traders. Don’t forget the “Spy Kids” link.

G-Force
A specially trained squad of guinea pigs is dispatched to stop a diabolical billionaire from taking over the world. It’s animated, it’s from Disney, it’s the school holidays, there’ll be merchandise. Our view: this one should do good business, another family-friendly movie.

The Year One
Jack Black and a collection of caveman/historical parody jokes. Our view: not for the Rialto crowd.

Fame
An updated version of the legendary 1980 movie musical which centered on the students of the New York Academy of Performing Arts. Our view: attempts to catch the spirit of the original, the same passions and dreams that drive people to enter shows like American Idol. Should resonate well with Gen Y.

Happy planning!!

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