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CHUM Interactive and Alliance Atlantis* Motion Picture Distribution Partner for Habbo Hotel Online Sponsorship of New Feature Film


Interactive campaign integrates ballroom dance theme from TAKE THE LEAD into Habbo Hotel online community.

March 15, 2006 -- (TORONTO) – CHUM Interactive and Alliance Atlantis* Motion Picture Distribution, in association with Sulake Canada Inc., have launched a new promotional sponsorship for the upcoming April 7th release of TAKE THE LEAD, a new feature film starring Antonio Banderas. The campaign integrates the film’s ballroom dancing theme into the Habbo Hotel online community.

The theatrical sponsorship, the first of its kind incorporating Habbo Hotel, invites players to partner their virtual characters (Habbos) with other players across Canada to learn the art of “Habbo-Style” ballroom dancing from a Habbo instructor in the likeness of star Antonio Banderas. The four-week campaign involves a full virtual dance competition in Habbo Hotel, which teen players must practice in pairs and audition to be part of.

During the campaign, a popular virtual disco in the Hotel will be owned by Alliance Atlantis* Motion Picture Distribution and renamed the Take The Lead Dance Hall, with a link to the film’s website appearing on a billboard inside.

As soon as the dance competition is announced, Habbos can pair up for online lessons led by a Habbo instructor based on Banderas’ character from the film. After two action-packed weeks, 10 finalist couples will be selected by an elite panel of Habbo judges, and given a special membership that opens a whole new slate of dance steps to their characters. The Take The Lead Dance Competition culminates on Wednesday, April 5th when those 10 Habbo couples will perform again in front of a live Habbo audience. The competition will be broadcast live on The d’nD Power Hour, a popular Habbo-run Internet radio show. For the next week, all of the Habbos across Canada will view video clips of the competition finals online, and vote for their choice of winner, to be announced on April 12th.

CHUM Interactive has partnered with Habbo Hotel since its June 2004 Canadian launch and is responsible for web sales on A virtual replica of MuchMusic Headquarters appears as a public space in the Hotel. “We are very excited to be working with Alliance Atlantis for the first theatrical sponsorship integration into Habbo Hotel,” said Heather Gordon, Sales Manager, CHUM Interactive. “CHUM has led the way in leveraging new multi-platform opportunities to support our advertisers’ goals. For TAKE THE LEAD we’ve created a unique online campaign that not only directly targets, but also engages, the young movie-going audience.”

“We are excited about working with Sulake Canada and CHUM Interactive on this venture. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to promote our films and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. TAKE THE LEAD is highly inspirational, bursts with positive energy, and should resonate with today’s youth culture. It is already generating exceptionally strong word-of-mouth in early youth-targeted screenings and the culture of hip hop music has never been more popular.” commented Frank Mendicino, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Alliance Atlantis* Motion Picture Distribution.

“We are ecstatic about partnering with Alliance Atlantis to immerse the TAKE THE LEAD story and theme into Habbo Hotel. This campaign is a great example of how the barriers between advertiser and audience can be broken, as the target audience gets to interact with the movie property in their very own Habbo Universe,” said David Weiser, Executive Producer, Sulake Canada & USA. “Traditionally, interactive entertainment products have been developed after the success of a theatrical release. We are thrilled that Alliance Atlantis is taking the lead in using interactive entertainment to promote movies before they are released, and in such an immersive fashion.”

Antonio Banderas stars in TAKE THE LEAD, a drama inspired by the true story of Pierre Dulaine, an inspirational Manhattan dance teacher and competitor who volunteers his time to teach ballroom dancing to a diverse group of New York inner-city high school students serving detention. Initially skeptical of Dulaine, he becomes a mentor to the students and teaches them valuable lessons about pride, respect and honour. The film opens across North America on April 7th.

Habbo Hotel is an online game environment for teens to meet, chat and develop self expression in a safe, rich and positive environment. Habbo Hotel was first launched in Helsinki, Finland in 2000 and since then 16 additional Hotels have been established around the world. Habbo Hotel offers unique advertising opportunities and direct access to 13 – 20-year-olds. The monthly average check-ins by visitors to is 1,600,000.

About Motion Picture Distribution LP and Movie Distribution Income Fund

Motion Picture Distribution LP is a leading distributor of motion pictures in Canada, with a growing presence in motion picture distribution in the United Kingdom and Spain. The Company distributes filmed entertainment to theatres, on video and DVD, and to television broadcasters. Unitholders of Movie Distribution Income Fund (TSX: FLM.UN) hold a minority interest in Motion Picture Distribution LP.

CHUM Interactive integrates CHUM’s Limited’s well known media brands in music, entertainment, science fiction, lifestyle and local news with new media platforms including online, wireless and enhanced television. CHUM Limited (, one of Canada’s leading media companies and content providers, which owns and operates 33 radio stations, 12 local television stations and 21 specialty channels, as well as an environmental music distribution division. Through international format licences and program sales, CHUM’s original content is seen in over 130 countries worldwide.

* “Alliance Atlantis” with the stylized “A” design is licensed from Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., an indirect limited partner of Motion Picture Distribution LP, not a general partner.


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