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When product is the movie, is the movie just product?

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

Remember when movies used to tell stories and maybe try to sell you something on the side?

A 007 action flick came with to-die-for views of James Bond’s sleek Aston Martin sports cars. The elusive Twinkie snacks of post-apocalypse comedy “Zombieland,” the Domino’s Pizza chowdowns of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and the Reese’s Pieces offerings of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” whetted our appetites. These not-so-covert ads, called product placements, were inserted in films for lucrative licensing fees paid to studios.

In 2023, the side hustle has become the main show: 🌓


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