There are plenty of movies with McDonald’s tie-ins, from the very direct product placement of Mac and Me (pictured below) to all the family films promoted through Happy Meals toys. The new adaptation of Stephen King’s Itis not one of these movies. Not only is it an R-rated horror movie that doesn’t fit the fast food chain’s general demographics, but the specific fact that the movie involves a killer clown and the restaurant brand has a clown — Ronald McDonald — for a mascot would obviously send some confusing messages to customers.
Yet the clown connection is precisely why a competing fast food company is upset. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Burger King’s Russia division is seeking to have the movie formally banned from the country, via the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service. They’re still evaluating the complaint, but It is already playing in Russia as of September 7, so the issue is all but moot anyway. Perhaps if they could do a study of McDonald’s business in Russia since the movie’s release there…
The funniest part of this story, besides the fact that it’s more probable that It would disuade people from going to the place with clown iconography, is that Burger King also has a mascot, and it’s something a lot more prevalent in movies than clowns. Should McDonald’s fight back and try to have movies with kings in them banned? Or movies with King in the title, such as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Disney’s upcoming live-action Lion King remake? Actually, you know what? The author of It is named Stephen King. Maybe it’s Burger King who gets the benefit of the movie playing there.
And it doesn’t have to stop there. If there’s another Beverly Hills Chihuahua sequel, it’ll be banned because of the Taco Bell chihuahua. Next time there’s a Pippi Longstocking movie, Burger King will have to ban it because the character resembles the Wendy’s mascot (actually Wendy’s completely left Russia back in 2014). And Star Wars can just skip Russia because one of the words in the title is “star,” and there are also Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s in Russia.
Here’s a parody trailer from earlier this year that does make fun of the correlation between It‘s villain and McDonald’s’ mascot: