NEW YORK — Disney will use one of its powerful sports franchises on Monday to promote one of its most lucrative movie brands: Star Wars.
The trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will debut during halftime of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Giants and Eagles. After it airs, fans will be able to purchase tickets to the film’s Dec. 18 movie theater opening.
A Spanish-language version of the trailer will air on ESPN Deportes.
It’s the first movie addition to the “Star Wars” franchise in a decade. Disney acquired Lucasfilms from “Star Wars” creator George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012.
The company has marketed the new film heavily.
Ahead of the release of “The Force Awakens,” Star Wars merchandise, toys and gadgets have flooded stores. California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Walt Disney World are also getting massive Star Wars attractions.
Social media has also been a promotional hub. “The Force Awakens” movie poster was released Sunday via Twitter, and it was retweeted more than 15,000 times in two hours.
Disney is looking to profit from “Star Wars'” cult-like following, and there’s more fandom fuel coming. “The Force Awakens” is the first installment of a trilogy, and subsequent movie releases are planned for 2017 and 2019.