The movie adaptation of Stephen King’s scary clown story It is currently storming the box office with a worldwide haul approaching $500 million — but the people at Burger King Russia are not happy about the unexpected rise of Pennywise the circus demon (he’s the title character from the film). The burger titan filed a complaint with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, urging the government to ban the film on the grounds that people might confuse the popular child-eating clown with the Happy Meal-slinging mascot of the chain’s rival, McDonald’s. Team Burger King argues that the popularity of Pennywise might be giving its competitor an unfair advertising advantage.
The FAS is currently investigating the matter, but a spokesperson for the organization tells the Hollywood Reporter: “We can’t be concerned with the content of the film because the writer and director have their own creative understanding of any character.” Burger King has been ramping up its efforts to court Russian diners via a variety of tactics, including the introduction of a crypto-currency dubbed WhopperCoin.
It has held the number one position at the Russian box office for two weekends in a row. So far, the film has made around $14 million in the Russian market, and is still being screened in around 100 theaters. If Burger King Russia wants to capitalize on the monster clown trend, perhaps the company should take a tip from Hurts Donut in Texas, and start offering a circus monster delivery service.
Stay tuned for any updates on the Burger King Russia’s beef with Pennywise as they become available.