Build-A-Bear and Cinemark Announce First-time Collaboration to Release New Holiday Film Glisten and the Merry Mission in Theaters Across the Country

Author: Newsroom

Unique Program includes Free Child’s Ticket Offer in select Build-A-Bear Workshops and Film-inspired Experiences in key Cinemark theaters to promote the Animated Family Friendly Movie

St. Louis (September 27, 2023) – In a first-time deal of its kind for the company, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), with Foundation Media Partners, announces a collaboration with Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) to exclusively release the company’s new animated feature film Glisten and the Merry Mission in Cinemark theaters across the country starting November 3. The first trailer for Glisten and the Merry Mission, which can be seen at Build-A-Bear® | Merry Mission Movie (buildabear.com), highlights the heartfelt and exciting story reminding everyone that “Christmas is all about believing.”

This agreement with Cinemark, one of the largest and most influential theatrical exhibition companies in the world, is enhanced by a unique program that includes a special promotion, offering a free child’s ticket to see the movie at a Cinemark theater for guests who visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop and make a furry friend during the film’s theatrical run. Build-A-Bear and Cinemark will also be hosting Glisten and the Merry Mission special events at select theaters with appearances by Glisten the mascot featuring unique bear building experiences with plush versions of characters from the movie.

“Cinemark is excited to work with Build-A-Bear Entertainment on this special theatrical film release for Glisten and the Merry Mission,” said Wanda Gierhart Fearing, Cinemark Chief Marketing and Content Officer. “There is nothing like seeing a film through a child’s eyes, and we can’t wait for families everywhere to get to partake in this unique multi-faceted event which is sure to spread holiday joy as an iconic furry friend comes to the big screen for the first time.” 

This is the first animated theatrical film release for Build-A-Bear Entertainment and is positioned to be a new, family-favorite holiday classic with a variety of award-winning celebrity voice talent including Grammy nominated Julia Michaels and multi-Grammy Award winner Dionne Warwick plus Freddie Prinze Jr., Chevy Chase, Billy Ray Cyrus and recent Avatar star, Trinity Bliss. The feature is enhanced with original music including a special holiday song by Ms. Warwick produced by Grammy winner Damon Elliot.

The film is based on a storyline inspired by Build-A-Bear Workshop’s multi-year best-selling plush, the Merry Mission collection, which includes the enchanted snow deer, Glisten. The new film, rated “G” for General Audiences, is expected to have a multi-generational appeal, as a visit to Build-A-Bear Workshop has become a holiday tradition for both kids and ‘kids at heart’ to create special memories.

“The mission for our Build-A-Bear Entertainment division is to create engaging and heartwarming content that extends our appeal and resonates with our fans, and this collaboration with Cinemark to theatrically debut Glisten and the Merry Mission, furthers this commitment,” said Sharon Price John, President and Chief Executive Officer of Build-A-Bear. “Our guests have loved this popular plush collection for years, and we believe they will be thrilled to see their favorite Merry Mission characters come to life on the big screen. We are delighted to partner with Cinemark and to have worked with this incredible team to bring our magical story to life.”

Glisten and the Merry Mission follows a young elfling, Marzipan, and her mother Cinnameg, the newly minted manager of Santa’s troubled North Pole workshop. Marzipan must believe in the magic of the season to help save Christmas which leads to the adventure of a lifetime and the search to rediscover the enchanted snow deer, Glisten. The pursuit of their merry mission is aided by Santa and a colorful cadre of reindeer and elves, including a big bear on the “naughty list” named Grizz, and the wise elf Sage Evergreen.

Glisten and the Merry Mission is the type of heartfelt, feel-good family film that a theatrical experience was made for, and Cinemark is the best at delivering that to audiences.  We can’t wait for families to enjoy this movie together on the big screen to see some of their favorite Merry Mission characters come to life,” said Patrick Hughes, President of Foundation Media Partners. “With this direct theatrical debut, Foundation Media Partners and Build-A-Bear Entertainment continue to expand our entertainment footprint with a value-enhancing approach to developing, producing and releasing content as we evolve our innovative model.” 

Guests can visit the Glisten and the Merry Mission website to learn more about the movie release, watch the trailer, and sign up for special promotions and upcoming events at Build-A-Bear® | Merry Mission Movie (buildabear.com). Tickets for the film will be available starting October 12 at Cinemark.com and on the Cinemark app.

Ms. John is the executive producer of the film and joins Hughes as producer. In addition to Glisten and the Merry Mission, Ms. John has executive produced several feature-length films in conjunction with Foundation Media Partners, including Unstuffed: A Build-A-Bear StoryHoney GirlsDeliver by Christmas and Christmas CEO. Hughes has separately produced films including the family comedy, Bad Guys for DreamWorks Animation, and is currently producing Thelma The Unicorn for Netflix. Both companies are working together on a number of projects, including the reimagination of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with Hello Sunshine.

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