Struggling Chuck E. Cheese Seek To Create Movie & TV Out Of Namesake
Chuck E. Cheese announced that it plans to create movies and TV shows starring its well known rodent mascot as the company tries to avoid going out of business amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chuck E. Cheese CEO David McKillips said that the company has created an entertainment division that will focus on making Charles Entertainment Cheese into toys and other merchandise before getting him into scripted television and movies.
“Ideally we would love to have Chuck E. Cheese in animation and possibly one day a movie feature as well,” McKillips said in an interview with Business Insider.
The company is currently known for its birthday pizza parties, singing animatronic animals and arcade games, and has struggled to pivot its business practices as the pandemic forces the 518 locations across the United States and Canada to stay closed. The company has tried to continue selling pizza and “take-home” birthday parties via delivery apps like DoorDash and Grubhub, but the restaurant’s parent company CEC Entertainment was still forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June.
“This has been, no doubt, the most difficult time in this company’s history,” McKillips said. “The pandemic has been absolutely devastating for our business. Ultimately, we had to file a Chapter 11 in June. Now what we’ve done since then is make sure we had a touch point with all our guests to make sure we were still being relevant.”
The company also began selling pizza aimed at adults through delivery apps under a separate restaurant name, Pasqually’s.
“We [also] launched a brand new virtual kitchen called Pasqually’s, and this has received a lot of press. I do want to be clear, this is a separate virtual brand. We position it as bold flavors with a grown-up taste,” McKillips said.
Still, the CEO believed that the new entertainment division could help keep the company afloat saying, “For our demographic of three to eight-year-olds, [Chuck E. Cheese] is one of the most popular characters in the world.”