TODAY   |  June 15, 2013

Man of deals? ‘Superman’ product placement worth $160 million

The latest reboot of “Superman,” the classic DC Comics franchise, will take flight in theaters this weekend. However, before a single ticket will even be sold, the Man of Steel has raked in millions of dollars in product placement. TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe reports.

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>> steel" opens this weekend. you going to see it?

>> yes.

>> the kids.

>> want to see it.

>> you have a little girl . i'm sure she is dying to see that. we're talking about product placement . before the box office tallies come in the movie has set a record for the number of product partnerships ever, ever in a film. turning "the man of steel" basically into the man of deals.

>> he will look like you but he is not one of you.

>> reporter: the latest reboot of the classic comics franchise "superman" takes flight in theaters this weekend.

>> there is no telling how much money can be made if this movie delivers as far as the fans are concerned.

>> reporter: but before a single ticket was even sold, "the man of steel" raked in more than $160 million through product placement .

>> over recent years, we've seen the growth of brands looking for alternative exposure and looking at different ways to market themselves. whether being tie-in promotions or truly integrating the product into the property.

>> all good now!

>> reporter: with nearly 100 promotional partners like nokia, jillette, and twizzler warner brothers recouped some of the money it used to produce the film. but placing products in films can also be risky.

>> if a brand is being forced into an entertainment property where it doesn't belong, it'll be seen by the audience very clearly as just that.

>> reporter: "skyfall" the most recent james bond installment had fans up in arms when the special agent traded his martini for a heineken. and "the lorax" had a strong message of environmentalism though one of its major advertising tie-ins was an suv.

>> are we forgetting something?

>> reporter: but with strong opening numbers last night the verdict is still out on whether "superman" needs saving from his own self-promotion. i don't remember talking about this back in 1978 , you know, when i was i don't know how old and the first one came out.

>> i totally remember those numbers.

>> i do. i remember calling you every night.

>> right?

>> it is crazy how it's changed.

>> i know.

>> a lot of money.

>> a lot of money.

>> it's worth it though. we're talking about it.