The New ‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie Plugs CVS at a Séance, Along With a Dozen Other Insane Product Placements
Surprising absolutely no one, a reboot of a movie adaptation of a Disneyland ride is replete with embedded marketing for miscellaneous unrelated products. We’re one step away from the characters in Haunted Mansion 3 using a CVS receipt as a Ouija board.
The second installment of Disney’s most recently revived franchise premiered this past Friday as The Mouse bafflingly decided to premiere their supernatural spookfest against the surging Barbenheimer instead of, you know, in October. The original 2003 film was a minor financial success behind the performance of the impossibly popular Eddie Murphy, though the movie was trashed by critics and, much like almost every other amusement park ride adaptation, lacked the cultural permeation of Pirates of the Caribbean.
However, Disney still decided to run it back with 2023’s Haunted Mansion bursting with star power as LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson and more attempt to fill the Murphy-sized hole in the series that not even the most diehard Disney fans were demanding to return. With a $150 million budget, stiff competition and lackluster reviews, Haunted Mansion still does have one thing going for it in the battle to save Disney’s balance sheet — shameless, repeated and hysterical instances of product placement that have Walt spinning in his cryochamber.
Now, big-budget, broad-appeal blockbusters awkwardly shoehorning brand names into places they don’t belong is nothing new, but some of these moments of marketing magic feel destined to backfire. Marvel Monopoly probably wasn’t designed to be the game for kids with no friends, most Zillow users aren’t there to buy literal haunted houses and that’s definitely not what Baskin Robbins meant when they told Disney they wanted the Haunted Mansion characters to say that their ice cream is “to die for.”