Chuck E. Cheese is getting ready for his big day in the spotlight. It has been revealed that the company behind the iconic pizza chain has launched an entertainment division. While it's still early in the process, the goal is for them to launch animated TV shows in the future, and even possibly a live-action movie featuring the restaurant's mouse mascot.
The news was revealed in a recent interview with CEO David McKillips. The company has been hit hard by the circumstances the world is enduring this year. Chuck E. Cheese is primarily a Pizza restaurant for families that relies on a mostly indoors, in-person business model. The world, as it is, hasn't been terribly friendly to such establishments. As such, the chain's parent company CEC Entertainment had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. That has led the company to consider new strategies in order to survive in the long run.
A big part of that strategy, it seems, is this new entertainment division. While many details remain under wraps, it will focus on merchandising and toys at first. But the plan is to expand that into media, which will focus on one Charles Entertainment Cheese. David McKillips believes that the mouse closely associated with the pizza chain has enough brand recognition to justify movies and/or a Chuck E. Cheese TV show aimed at their target audience, which is young children. McKillips had this to say about it.
"Ideally we would love to have Chuck E. Cheese in animation and possibly one day a movie feature as well... For our demographic of three to eight year olds, he is one of the most popular characters in the world."
Whether or not this proves to be a wise strategy remains to be seen. Though there is something to be said for brand recognition. Chuck E. Cheese has been around for more than 40 years and kids undoubtedly recognize the mouse, and quite possibly his former bandmates from the animatronic stage show that has since been discontinued at the restaurants. Is that brand recognition strong enough to make an animated series successful? Or perhaps the bigger question, a live-action movie? Unlikely brands have made the jump to cinema successfully in the past. Trolls and LEGO with The LEGO Movie, just to name a couple.
This decision was born out of a need for innovation. Earlier this year it was discovered that Chuck E. Cheese was disguising its name on Grubhub in the hopes that they could sell more pizza via delivery. That move could be described, at best, as questionable. The idea of leaning into a strong children's brand in other mediums at least makes sense. Whether or not the market can sustain this much from the mouse is a question that won't be answered until these products begin making their way to market. As for the movies and TV shows, they seem to be a long way from becoming a reality, as this venture is only just beginning. This news comes to us via Business Insider.