In the film “Blade Runner 2049,” the sequel to the iconic 1982 science fiction movie starring Harrison Ford, one of the most prominent brands shown on screen is Peugeot, the French automaker known for its stylish vehicles. Peugeot’s logo can be clearly seen four times during the film, and it is also the futuristic flying car driven by the main character played by Canadian actor Ryan Gosling. Despite this clever branding strategy, the studio that produced “Blade Runner” is now suing Peugeot for what seems to be a breach of contract complaint.
The lawsuit filed by Alcon Entertainment in federal court alleges that Peugeot failed to conduct a marketing campaign ahead of the film’s release. The production company evaluated various automobile brands that were willing to appear in the movie in exchange for cash and a commitment to film promotion, which Peugeot reportedly failed to keep.
According to hollywoodreporter.com, an interesting point raised by Alcon in the lawsuit is that the “Blade Runner” sequel was not the blockbuster that film audiences expected. Despite making nearly $220 million at the box office on a $150 million budget, Alcon had projected to generate more than twice that amount during the initial theater run, and one of the problems in this regard is that pre-release marketing was lacking; to this effect, Peugeot had planned to spend $30 million in promotional materials such as television commercials and social media campaigns, but the automaker only set up a flying car display at the San Diego Comic Con.
Although Peugeot has not yet responded to the lawsuit, it is unusual for a major auto brand to skip on an opportunity to showcase a major movie tie-in. Lexus, for example, was very successful with its “Black Panther” promotional work, and the same can be said about BMW and its appearances in the James Bond film franchise.
One of the promotional items that Peugeot allegedly failed to deliver was the story of the flying car driven by K, the Los Angeles police detective who tracks down renegade androids in the future. This could have been a great opportunity for Peugeot since the company’s research and development has been actively working on flying car prototypes and concepts. In the fictional world of “Blade Runner,” flying cars are called spinners, and they are mostly used by police and military units, although car buyers with deep pockets may also be able to afford them in some cases.