Smurfs 2 already paid for with product placement

The one good review, from Variety's Scott Foundas, could not rescue Smurfs 2 from a weak domestic opening. But it's doing OK abroad, and its $150m production budget was reportedly covered in full by product placement. The advertising is incessant, say reviewers: from Gargamel's everpresent tablet PC to a duck that "urges a strolling couple to buy a Prius."

"This is basically stone-cold Sony product," writes Mike McCahill in The Guardian, a sentiment echoed by Steve Davis in the Austin Chronicle: "We’ve come a long way from Belgian comics artist Peyo’s original vision."

Which was, of course, crypto-Marxist utopianism.

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