A tie-in work is a work of fiction or other product based on a media property such as a film, video game, television series, board game, web site, role-playing game or literary property. Tie-ins are authorized by the owners of the original property, and are a form of cross-promotion used primarily to generate additional income from that property and to promote its visibility.


Sacoche South Park
This pannier bag is a tie-in product from the TV series South Park.

Common tie-in products include literary works, which may be novelizations of a media property, original novels or story collections inspired by the property, or republished previously existing books, such as the novels on which a media property was based, with artwork or photographs from the property. According to publishing industry estimates, about one or two percent of the audience of a film will buy its novelization, making these relatively inexpensively produced works a commercially attractive proposition in the case of blockbuster film franchises. Although increasingly also a domain of previously established novelists, tie-in writing has the disadvantages, from the writers' point of view, of modest pay, tight deadlines and no ownership in the intellectual property created.[1]

Tie-in products may also have a documentary or supplemental character, such or "making-of" books documenting the creation of a media property. Tie-in products also include other types of works based on the media property, such as soundtrack recordings, video games or merchandise including toys and clothing.


A novelization is a derivative novel that adapts the story of a work created for another medium, such as a film, TV series, comic strip or video game. Film novelizations were particularly popular before the advent of home video, but continue to find commercial success as part of marketing campaigns for major films. They are often written by accomplished writers based on an early draft of the film's script and on a tight deadline.

Other tie-in novels

Tie-in novels are often newly published editions of a novel on which a film was based, sometimes renamed to match the film's title and using promotional art created for the film. For example, when Roderick Thorp's 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever was adapted into the 1988 film Die Hard, the novel was republished as a paperback tie-in under the Die Hard title with the film's poster on the cover.

If a film is based on a story shorter than a novel — such as a short story, novelette, or novella — a tie-in book may be published featuring the adapted story as well as other stories from the same author. For example, when Stephen King's novella Apt Pupil was adapted to film, the book originally featuring the story — Different Seasons — was republished as Apt Pupil: A Novella in Different Seasons. Similarly, tie-in novels were published to promote the films Minority Report and Paycheck, featuring the original "Minority Report" and "Paycheck" short stories, both written by Philip K. Dick.

Tie-in novels may also continue the story told in the original property, such as the many novels published as part of the Star Wars expanded universe set before or after the events of the original Star Wars film trilogy. In 2015, the New York Times noted the flourishing market for TV series tie-in novels, coinciding with the increasing cultural significance of quality television series. The increasing number of previously established novelists taking on tie-in works has also been credited with these works gaining a "patina of respectability" after having previously been disregarded in literary circles as derivative and mere merchandise.[1]

Video games

Some video games are tie-in licences for films, television shows or books.

Video game movie tie-ins are expensive for a game developer to license, and the game designers have to work within constraints imposed by the film studio, under pressure to finish the game in time for the film's release.[2] The aim for the publishers is to increase hype and revenue as the two industries effectively market one another's releases.[3]

Movie license video games have a reputation for being poor quality.[4] For example, Amiga Power awarding Psygnosis's three movie licenses (Dracula, Cliffhanger and Last Action Hero, all reviewed in June 1994) 36% in total; that magazine being cynical towards licensed games in general, with The Blues Brothers being one of few exceptions. One of the first movie tie-in games, Atari's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was deemed so bad, it was cited as one cause of the video game industry crash.[5] Such poor quality is often due to game developers forced to rush the product in order to meet the movie's release date,[5] or due to issues with adapting the original work's plot into an interactive form, such as in the case of the games based on the last two films of the Harry Potter film series, where one reviewer criticised some of the game's missions and side-quests as being unrelated to the film's storyline.[6]

Video tie-in licences for novels tend to be adventure games. The Hobbit (1982) and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are text adventures, whilst I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (1995) is a point-and-click adventure and Neuromancer (1988) is a graphic adventure. Action games based on novels are less common (William Shatner's TekWar (1995), a first-person shooter). Novel tie-ins were published less frequently after the 1990s, with developers only taking risks with stories that had already been licensed for movies.[7]

Revenue and structure

Tie-ins are considered an important part of the revenue-stream for any major media release, and planning, and licensing for such works often begins at the very earliest stages of creating such a property. Tie-ins provide both an important way of generating additional income from a property, and a way of satisfying the desires of fans who enthusiastically support a popular media property.

The lineage of tie-in works can be quite convoluted. For example, a novelization might be done of a video game, which was based on a television show, based on a movie, based on a comic book which was the original media property. In several cases, a novelization has been released based on a movie which was in turn adapted from an original novel. In such cases, it is not uncommon to see the novelization and a movie release of the original novel side-by-side on the same shelf.

These tie-ins can be considered as forms of "free advertising", as they create more exposure for the media property. Tie-ins need not have a direct association with the property. For example, a particular pizza company can offer coupons that are associated with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies, but that specific pizza company itself does not necessarily have to appear in the movies. By this association, however, the pizza company is exposed to a bigger audience. If a media property does well, the tie-ins gain that positive exposure as well.[8]

Early examples

Some early examples of TV tie-in books are Leave It to Beaver (1960), Here's Beaver! (1961), and Beaver and Wally (1961) by Beverly Cleary and Star Trek (1967) by James Blish.

See also


  1. ^ a b Alter, Alexandra (4 January 2015). "Popular TV Series and Movies Maintain Relevance as Novels". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Review: Movie Tie-In Games Mostly Disappointing". foxnews.com. 2007-06-01.
  3. ^ "Hollywood and video game industry profit from movie tie-ins". Canada.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-06.
  4. ^ Stuart Campbell (May 1995). "Ready For Your Close-Up". Amiga Power.
  5. ^ a b Musgrove, Mike (10 July 2006). "Movie and Game Studios Getting the Total Picture". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  6. ^ "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Video Game Review - PlayStation 3 Review at IGN". IGN. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  7. ^ Rich Knight (2007-10-08). "Why Are Books Never Made Into Games?". Blend Games. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  8. ^ Wasko, Janet, Mark Phillips, and Chris Purdie. 1993. "Hollywood Meets Madison Avenue: The Commercialization of US Films". Media, Culture & Society 15(2): 271-293.

External links

DC Extended Universe

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is the official term used to refer to an American media franchise and shared universe that is centered on a series of superhero films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and based on characters that appear in American comic books by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books and the television programs, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters. The films have been in production since 2011 and in that time Warner Bros. has distributed six films. The series has grossed over $4.91 billion at the global box office, currently making it the 12th highest-grossing film franchise.

The films are written and directed by a variety of individuals and feature large, often ensemble, casts. Several actors, including Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher, have appeared in numerous films of the franchise, with continued appearances in sequels planned. In May 2016, DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg were appointed to co-run the DC Films division and oversee creative decisions, production and story-arcs in order to create a cohesive overarching plot within the films. In January 2018, Walter Hamada was appointed the president of DC Films, replacing Berg.

The first film in the DCEU was Man of Steel in 2013 followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, Wonder Woman and Justice League in 2017, and Aquaman in 2018. The franchise will continue with scheduled release dates for Shazam! in 2019, Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and The Flash in 2021, and Aquaman 2 in 2022. A multitude of other projects are in various stages of development.

Erik Selvig

Erik Selvig is a character portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). An astrophysicist who becomes involved with the Asgardian Thor and the government organization S.H.I.E.L.D., he first appeared in the 2011 film Thor. Skarsgård went on to reprise the role in The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). To tie into these appearances, the character is seen in several MCU tie-in comics. The character also appears in other media, including non-MCU comics published by Marvel Comics.

Fear Itself (comics)

The comic "Fear Itself" is a 2011 crossover comic book storyline published by Marvel Comics, consisting of a seven-issue, eponymous miniseries written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Laura Martin, a prologue book by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Scot Eaton, and numerous tie-in books, including most of the X-Men family of books.

"Fear Itself" was first announced by then-Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Executive Editor Tom Brevoort and X-Men group editor Axel Alonso at a press conference held at Midtown Comics Times Square on December 21, 2010. The story, whose title is a reference to the famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", depicts the various superheroes of the Marvel Universe contending with the Serpent, an Asgardian fear deity who causes global panic on Earth, and who seeks to reclaim the throne of Asgard he contends was usurped by his brother, Odin, father to Thor, when the latter vanquished him ages ago. Within the comics, the characters refer to this conflict as The Serpent's War. Although it is a company-wide crossover, it emphasizes Captain America and Thor, as with past crossovers of the late 2000s.Critics exhibited mixed reaction to the different books of the storyline, praising the art in general, but generally panned the writing, especially in the core miniseries, and reported that the title failed to sell through at shops, though greater praise was given to some of the tie-in books, with one critic summarizing, "Fear Itself was a disaster. I don't see many people arguing that point—the most that can be said is that it had some amazing tie-ins", in particular Avengers Academy, Journey into Mystery and the later tie-in issues of Uncanny X-Men. Criticism was also directed to the number of books involved in the crossover, its duration, the lack of a clear beginning, middle and end to its structure, inconsequential character deaths, and the lack of a any change to the status quo. The overall storyline holds an average score of 7.4 out of 10 at the review aggregator website Comic Book Roundup, with the core miniseries holding a 6.5, and the various tie-ins ranging from 4.3 to 7.9.

Fury's Big Week

Marvel's The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week, or simply Fury's Big Week, is a limited series comic book published by Marvel Comics as an official tie-in comic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), specifically the 2012 film Marvel's The Avengers. The comic was written by Eric Pearson from stories by himself and Chris Yost, with art by various pencillers. Fury's Big Week follows Nick Fury and several agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as they deal with the various events of the MCU films leading up to The Avengers.

Marvel began releasing tie-in comics to the MCU films in 2008, and revealed an expanded marketing plan for its published tie-ins ahead of the release of The Avengers. Fury's Big Week was announced in February 2012, with Marvel Studios working closely with the comics division to ensure continuity between the various products. The comic draws connections between the different films of Marvel's Phase One, retelling events from the perspective of S.H.I.E.L.D. and adding new character interactions and sequences.

Fury's Big Week was released digitally in eight issues from February to March 2012, to tie-in with the film's marketing. The comic was then published in hard copy from March to April as four individual chapters.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (album)

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is a compilation album by pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, released in 2004. It was compiled to tie in with the group's animated series of the same name. There is also a Japanese version of this CD, of which contains the subtitle, "Happy Fun Rock Music from the Series" and includes two additional "TV Mix" tracks. The album peaked at #49 on the Japanese Albums Chart.

Lego Spider-Man

Lego Spider-Man is a product range of the Lego construction toy, based on the first two Spider-Man movies. The theme was first introduced in 2002 as a sub-brand of the Lego Studios theme, to tie in with the release of the first Spider-Man film. Three new sets were released in 2003, this time without the Lego Studios branding. In 2004, 7 new sets were introduced, to tie-in with the Spider-Man 2 movie. After this, the line was discontinued, and the rights to the third film in the series Spider-Man 3 were sold instead to rival company MEGA Brands, resulting in a Spider-Man 3 range of the Mega Bloks toy. However, in 2012 LEGO released a set based on the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series in their Marvel Superheroes line.

Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in comics

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) tie-in comic books are limited series or one-shot comics published by Marvel Comics that tie into the films and television series of the MCU. The comics are written and illustrated by a variety of individuals, and each one consists of 1 to 4 issues. They are intended to tell additional stories about existing characters, or to make connections between MCU projects, without necessarily expanding the universe or introducing new concepts or characters.

The first MCU tie-in comics to be published were Iron Man: Fast Friends, The Incredible Hulk: The Fury Files, and Nick Fury: Spies Like Us, all in 2008. They were followed by an adaptation of Iron Man in 2010, along with Iron Man 2: Fist of Iron (2010), Iron Man 2: Public Identity (2010), Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2010), Captain America: First Vengeance (2011), Captain America & Thor: Avengers (2011), The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week (2012), The Avengers Initiative (2012), The Avengers Prelude: Black Widow Strikes (2012), and an adaptation of Iron Man 2 (2012). Comic tie-ins for Marvel's television series began in 2014 with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Chase, followed by Jessica Jones (2015).

Marvel changed its approach to film tie-in material in 2012, retroactively dividing the tie-in comics into those that exist within the MCU continuity, and those that are merely inspired by the films and television series. Since then, Iron Man 3 Prelude (2013), Thor: The Dark World Prelude (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier Infinite Comic (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude – This Scepter'd Isle (2015), Ant-Man Prelude (2015), Ant-Man – Scott Lang: Small Time (2015), Captain America: Civil War Prelude Infinite Comic (2016), Doctor Strange Prelude (2016), Doctor Strange Prelude Infinite Comic (2016), Black Panther Prelude (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War Prelude (2018) have been released in the former category, along with film adaptations of Thor (2013), Captain America: The First Avenger (2013), The Avengers (2014–15), Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2015–16), Guardians of the Galaxy (2017), Captain America: Civil War (2017), The Incredible Hulk (2017), Thor: The Dark World (2017), and Ant-Man (2018).


The MonsterVerse is an American media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of monster films featuring Godzilla and King Kong, produced by Legendary Entertainment and co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The first installment was Godzilla (2014), a reboot of the Godzilla franchise, which was followed by Kong: Skull Island (2017), a reboot of the King Kong franchise. The next film to be released will be Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), followed by Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). With two films released to date, the series has grossed over $1 billion worldwide.


A novelization (or novelisation) is a derivative novel that adapts the story of a work created for another medium, such as a film, TV series, comic book or video game. Film novelizations were particularly popular before the advent of home video, but continue to find commercial success as part of marketing campaigns for major films. They are often written by accomplished writers based on an early draft of the film's script and on a tight deadline.

Phil Coulson

Phillip J. Coulson () is a character portrayed by Clark Gregg in the films and television series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). A high-ranking member of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., he first appeared in the 2008 film Iron Man, the first film in the MCU. Gregg went on to appear in Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), and Captain Marvel (2019). He headlines the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013–), appears in two Marvel One-Shots (2011), has been featured in various tie-in comics, and appears in the digital series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot (2016), all set in the MCU. The character also appears in other media, including comics published by Marvel Comics.

Result (cricket)

The result in a game of cricket may be a "win" for one of the two teams playing, a "draw" or a "tie". In the case of a limited overs game, the game can also end with "no result". Which of these results applies, and how the result is expressed, is governed by Law 16 of the laws of cricket.

Secret Invasion

"Secret Invasion" is a comic book crossover storyline that ran through a self-titled eight issue limited series and several tie-in books published by Marvel Comics from April through December 2008.

The story involves a subversive, long-term invasion of Earth by the Skrulls, a group of alien shapeshifters who have secretly replaced many superheroes in the Marvel Universe with impostors over a period of years, prior to the overt invasion. Marvel's promotional tagline for the event was "Who do you trust?"

Sunnydale High Yearbook

Sunnydale High Yearbook is a tie-in book based on the United States television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the series, the closing shot of the episode "Graduation Day, Part Two" shows the fictional yearbook this tie-in was modeled after.

The Death of Superman (film)

The Death of Superman is a 2018 American animated direct-to-video superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is based on the DC comic book storyline of the same name. The film, which chronicles the battle between Superman (Jerry O'Connell) and Doomsday, is the 32nd installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and the 11th film in the DC Animated Movie Universe. Released on July 24, 2018 the film received a limited theatrical release on January 13, 2019. A sequel, Reign of the Supermen, was released on January 15, 2019.


Toonami ( too-NAH-mee) is a television programming block that primarily consists of Japanese anime and American animation. It was created by Sean Akins and Jason DeMarco and produced by Williams Street, a division of Warner Bros., which is owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia. The name is a portmanteau of the words "cartoon" and "tsunami".Toonami initially ran as an afternoon and evening block on Cartoon Network, aimed at teens aged 12–15 from 1997 to 2008. In its original run, the block was known for showcasing action anime that became widely popular with American audiences. It was also recognized for its distinctive space-themed backdrop, anime music videos, drum and bass-flavored soundtrack, and host (a robot named T.O.M., short for Toonami Operations Module).

On May 26, 2012, Cartoon Network relaunched Toonami as part of its Adult Swim block—which continues as a Saturday night action block from its forerunner, Midnight Run. Shows from the older lineup have occasionally returned, along with newer shows.

Two-legged tie

In sports (particularly association football), a two-legged tie is a contest between two teams which comprises two matches or "legs", with each team as the home team in one leg. The winning team is usually determined by aggregate score, the sum of the scores of the two legs. For example, if the scores of the two legs are:

First leg: Team A 4–1 Team B

Second leg: Team B 2–1 Team AThen the aggregate score will be Team A 5–3 Team B, meaning team A wins the tie. In some competitions, a tie is considered to be drawn if each team wins one leg, regardless of the aggregate score. Two-legged ties can be used in knockout cup competitions and playoffs.

In North America, the equivalent term is home-and-home series or, if decided by aggregate, two-game total-goals series.

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