Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), the fourth-largest media conglomerate by market capitalization, and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE) are hoping an unlikely brand collaboration will create a hit.
The companies said Thursday they would co-produce a new film that combines two unlucky pop culture staples: Scooby-Doo, the mystery-solving dog, and WrestleMania, the clash of muscle-bound men and "divas" with names like Triple H and Sin Cara.
According to a release, the plot will place Scooby and his gang of human friends in "WWE City" to attend Wrestlemania, where they encounter a "ghostly bear" and partner with WWE stars to solve a mystery.
So, perhaps not the most innovative story, but producers seem to be banking on the strength of established brand names and the novelty of colliding worlds.
“We’re excited to leverage the WWE’s family-friendly brand and passionate fan base and integrate some of the most popular WWE Superstars and Divas within the Scooby-Doo gang," said Jeff Brown, Warner Home Video's executive vice president and general manager, TV, in a statement.
The WWE has aggressively partnered with other movie studios, working with the Muppets and Hugh Jackman's movie "Real Steel," according to the New York Times.
Other media companies have found success in unexpected partnerships. Square Enix Holdings Co. (Tokyo: 9684), the makers of Final Fantasy, and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), collaborated to create the wildly popular Kingdom Hearts franchise, which combines Disney characters with Japanese-style role playing games. The franchise is still going strong a decade after release, with its eight titles selling over 17 million copies worldwide.
There are no indications that the Scooby-Wrestlemania pact will last beyond one film, and the creators are marketing it directly to online video and Blue-ray, skipping the expectations of a box office. But if successful, the film could spawn another franchise.
Shares of Time Warner fell 12 cents to $42.57, while shares of WWE fell six cents to $8.39 in Thursday morning trading.