Margot Robbie to Become Live-Action Barbie Sending Shares of Mattel Soaring

05:29 01/11/2019

Toy maker Mattel did not have a great year last year. The death of toy store Toys "R" Us and a tough market didn't allow Mattel to prosper in 2018. Shares fell almost 30% in the last twelve months. The company even suspended its dividend, said it plans to slash $650 million in costs, and also said it was laying off over 2,200 employees after Toys "R" Us went bankrupt. Shares however soared roughly 7% earlier this week on news that the company has partnered with Warner Brothers for a live-action Barbie movie. Barbie is the company's best known-toy and could be a detrimental part of Mattel's future. "It's vital for the success of Mattel to have a healthy Barbie," said J.P. Eggers, associate professor of management and organizations at NYU Stern awhile back. "If Barbie is not a healthy brand, Mattel 's got virtually nothing to make them successful." The live-action movie will be produced by LuckyChap Entertainment and cast as Barbie is Academy Award-nominated actress Margot Robbie, who will also co-produce. Robbie is known for her roles as Harley Quinn in "Suicide Squad" and Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya." This is the first movie deal that Mattel Films has announced, which only launched last September. “This project is a great start to our partnership with Ynon and Mattel Films. Margot is the ideal producer and actress to bring Barbie to life on screen in a fresh and relevant way for today’s audiences,” remarked Toby Emmerich, the chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. CEO Ynon Kreiz commented, "Barbie is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and we are excited to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures and Margot Robbie to bring her to life on the big screen. We look forward to building on this collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures as we tell the stories of our beloved brands. Mattel Films is on a path to demonstrate the enormous potential of our brand portfolio, as we continue to execute on our strategy of transforming Mattel into an IP-driven, high performing toy company." Margot Robbie stated, "Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child's journey to self-discovery. Over the brand's almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president. I'm so honored to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide. I can't imagine better partners than Warner Bros and Mattel to bring this film to the big screen." Mattel is expected to report its fourth quarter financial report on February 1st.

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