Navy, Marines Join Forces on Film

The Regal Enter tainment Group is using an emotional tribute to U.S. sailors and marines stationed in the Middle East to evaluate a satellite-delivery system for feeding ads and other content to 4,500 screens nation wide.

The U.S. Navy and Marines Corps jointly created the five-minute film, En during Freedom: The Opening Chapter, with the assistance of several Los Angeles-based advertising production houses, including Mint Editorial. One shop, American Rogue, was created specifically to work on the project with the hope that it will be expanded to include additional “chapters.”

The U.S. Navy’s lead agency is Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich. J. Walter Thompson in Atlanta handles the Marine Corps. Each ac count bills about $40 million a year.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based chain is using the film to test its Digital Content Network, said Cliff Marks, president of marketing and sales for Regal’s New York marketing arm. He said Regal plans to have the network up and running by spring 2003.

The documentary-style promotion begins with footage of a plane crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers, then shifts to the U.S. military response. The film was shown last month in 85 Regal theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Denver and Knox ville.

Though the test run has ended, Regal management said it is considering a re-release based on the positive audience reaction.