What does a cup of coffee and a film have in common?

Coffee giant Starbucks recently joined forces with a major Hollywood talent agency to find movies to promote in their stores. With about 11,000 stores in 37 countries, Starbucks says it serves 40 million customers a week. That’s a lot of coffee drinkers picking up some music or a movie with their morning mocha. The first film to get the Starbucks treatment is Akeelah and the Bee, a heart-warming film that wasn’t expected to attract much attention until the coffee tie-in began.

“It was such an inspirational film, just a great story, the sense of community that this film was all about, which is so close to what Starbucks is all about,” says Ken Lombard, the president of Starbucks Entertainment. Despite heavy promotion inside Starbucks, opening box office numbers were low. Starbucks has hired William Morris Agency to help it cut deals to market books, films and more music to customers.

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