• Apr 22nd 2007 at 12:21PM
  • 8

Making feature films is an imprecise business. Marketing is an imprecise science. Put the two together, and you get things like Chrysler paying $3 million to get the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited showcased in the 2005 film Sahara.

The big budget blockbuster opened at number one, but turned into a big dusty flop that lost $78 million. If Jeep didn't get any positive halo association from the film, it can be happy that it's Wrangler wasn't seen getting stuck in or cut from the film altogether. As one producer who wrote to the film's execs put it, "You can't have the truck get almost stuck. I would bet that Jeep will have a heart attack when they see that. They want to show how well the Jeep handles and responds -- not that it will get stuck in a tough situation." At another point, the same producer told the director he couldn't cut a scene he was having a problem with, saying simply "Can't cut. Jeep to pay 3 million."

Chrysler's other movie partnerships have included Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life (Jeep), and Firewall (Chrysler 300C), none of which burned up the box office. Still, if you're a fan of Sahara and want to help Jeep recoup its money, you might still be able to order a special edition Wrangler at the Jeep Sahara site.

[Source: Detroit News]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jeep is one of the best regarded brands available, and as such carries a HUGE portion of the value of the Chrysler group. Brand IMAGE is everything.
      One of my favorite bits of automotive product placement was the Tundra that got destroyed in T3. Ok, I'm partial- I have almost that same truck :)
      I wonder how much Ford shelled out for the saturation level placement in 'Die Another Day'.
      Barney- the most primitive vehicle 007 has driven,as I recollect, was the 2CV Roger Moore drove in 'for your eyes only'.
      • 8 Years Ago
      they paid more than the movie made...that sucks
      • 8 Years Ago
      Remember the movie Twister... almost every single vehicle in that movie was from Chrysler. Lame movie too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wait... Chrysler PAID to have JEEPS in a movie set in the DESERT? They paid three million bucks just to keep people from seeing a Mitsubishi, or a Toyota that's not even sold in this country, or a Land Rover that real off-roaders would shun anyway? Please tell me they were locked in a deadly bidding war with Hummer.

      It's not like the Jeep was a star of the picture, or even featured as a significant plot element. I know "Sahara" was supposed to be a franchise-starter, but still... Why pay for credibility you already have?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Barney- the most primitive vehicle 007 has driven,as I recollect, was the 2CV Roger Moore drove in 'for your eyes only'."

      You're right Guenther. I forgot about that one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Marketing is a science?
      • 8 Years Ago
      That German company is just going to have to have a Jeep in the next James Bond movie. It may be the most primitive vehicle he has driven to date. Even when AMC had the moniker, they provided a Hornet for James to drive. As a side note, it's ironical that a German company is responsible for making a vehicle for the Americans who used it in WWII.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jeeps Rule!
    Share This Photo X