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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. is preparing a promotional push that could exceed $50 million for its summertime sci-fi epic, "Independence Day."

The effort comes as Fox ramps up its production and marketing of so-called event films.

The promo plan, put together by Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising and the studio's marketing department, is headlined by Coors Brewing Co. Coors will run a sweepstakes supported by TV, in-store merchandising and 75 million cans emblazoned with the "ID4" logo, the film's marketing moniker.

Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, will handle the Coors promotion, with spending that could reach $20 million.


The movie opens July 3 and the marketing will begin in late June, sporting a tagline all the promotion partners are expected to tap: "Before the end of the world, what are you going to do?"

Other marketing partners include Ace Hardware Corp., Domino's Pizza and Service Merchandise Co. Another is TraveLodge, whose package includes rights to two other Fox summer movies: "Courage Under Fire," a military drama starring Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington; and "Chain Reaction," a thriller.

Retailers are key to Fox's program. Target Stores is on board, as is F.A.O. Schwarz, which will carry the film's extensive toy line from licensee TrendMasters, arriving in stores in late June.

Fox has been hyping "ID4" since the Super Bowl in January. But it wasn't until footage was shown to exhibitors at the 1996 National Association of Theater Owners/ShoWest gathering in Las Vegas in March that the buzz built to a frenzy about the alien-invasion flick, whose special effects are said to be impressive.

Fox's own marketing support will exceed the industry average of $14 million.

Fox has committed to making more event films, "the kind of films that lend themselves to this kind of promotional support and licensing," said Nancy Utley, exec VP-marketing.


The company's new Fox Animation Studios division will kick out a Disneyesque event flick every 18 months, starting with "Anastasia" next year.

Also in development: an updated "Planet of the Apes," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, late last month picked up Fox's $140 million media buying account. The studio said it was impressed by the agency's integrated marketing approach and ability to build promotional partnerships between Fox and its other clients.

JWT handles Saban Entertainment, a Fox ally.

"It's the first time we've made [promotional alliances with marketers] part of an agency assignment," Ms. Utley said.

"Through the agency, we can get marketers involved even earlier and get a thorough understanding of their marketing needs, and vice versa."

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