So how do you spell "opportunity," Akeelah? Starbucks will screen the film for many of its baristas and promote the movie in stores for its big-screen debut in April. That same month, stateside Starbucks stores will begin selling the film's soundtrack; you'll be able to get the DVD with your double latte when it hits home video in early 2007.
It makes sense. Just as family entertainment projects flock to McDonald's
Starbucks is already becoming a powerful force in music. From its Hear coffeehouse concept, to its listening kiosks in some Seattle stores, to its own channel on XM Satellite Radio
The Akeelah and the Bee soundtrack won't even be the first music CD offered through Starbucks stores. The chain has sold compilation CDs, and worked on discs by Alanis Morissette, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan. That's why Akeelah's arrival at your local Starbucks may not seem too out of place. The real breakthrough may come early next year, when the film's DVD shows up by the register. If sales are good, who knows how quickly the company's film rack will grow? Since a disc purchase is unlikely to sway a java junkie out of ordering a cup of coffee as well, the sale will be purely incremental.
As impressive as the company's same-store sales have been over the years, Akeelah provides a little more ammo to make next year even stronger. Spellbindingly good move, Starbucks. Now let's see what you can do for an encore.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders if the spelling bee film may inspire some honey-themed coffee concoctions. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.