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Pagemaster' given big promotional push

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10 -- 20th Century Fox and Nabisco Biscuit Co. announced Thursday they are giving away 9 million free tickets to the movie 'The Pagemaster' in one of the largest movie ticket promotions on record. 'Industry experts say this is the largest ticket giveaway in the history of the movie business by means of promotion,' said Steve Ross, vice president of world wide promotions at 20th Century Fox. The tickets, which can be redeemed at the box office with the purchase of an adult ticket, are in one of every seven specially marked boxes of Nabisco crackers. Studio officials said up to 10 percent of such tickets are usually redeemed at theaters. Theater owners will be reimbursed for the full value of the children's tickets. Artwork from 'The Pagemaster' will be featured on 80 million packages of Nabisco cookes and crackers. Certificates for a free 'Pagemaster' T-shirt have been inserted in 1 million cookie packages. Pizza Hut, Tropicana juice, DowBrands, Texaco Oil, Kellogg's and Turner Publishing have also signed on to promote the film along with their products. In the movie, Macaulay Culkin plays a fearful boy who takes refuge from a storm in a library and is drawn into an animated world of adventure and fantasy in the pages of the books. The film, which carries a $35 million price tag, opens Nov. 23. 'At its core is a message about the value of reading that lends itself to pro-social tie-ins,' Ross said.

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'The film stresses the importance of opening your mind and imagination through the world of books -- a combination that corporate America found irresistible.' Fox Interactive has taken orders for more than 500,000 units of its 'Pagemaster' video game, which is also featured in ads for the movie. Al Ovadia, president of Fox licensing and merchandising, said the promotional campaign was the largest ever tied to a movie, including Universal's blockbuster film 'Jurassic Park.' Tropicana has planned an extensive national library promotion with specially created 'The Pagemaster' posters and activity kits distributed to more than 100,000 public and school libraries. The movie also will be featured on 50 million cartons of orange juice with an offer to exchange product premiums for free classic books featured in the move. Some 10 million boxes of Ziploc plastic bags feature the film and a mail-in offer for a 'Pagemaster'-themed in-school study guide and lesson plan that targets 12,000 schools. An estimated 13,000 Texaco stations will feature movie-related material backed by radio advertising. In Canada, Kellogg's will feature the movie on 10 million boxes of cereal. Pizza Hut is building its holiday promotional campaign around the movie, hoping to reach approximately 12 million kids and their parents. The chain's promotions include a reading incentive program. The film's theatrical trailer will be featured on more than 10 million video copies of Fox's hit film 'Mrs. Doubtfire.'

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