—NYC & Company, Columbia Pictures, and Sony Pictures Animation Celebrate the Release of “The Smurfs®” with Family-Friendly Events—

New York City (July 20, 2011) — After filming their upcoming motion picture in New York City, the Smurfs are again taking on the City with Smurfs Week NYC, five days of fun and educational events in anticipation of the July 29, 2011 release of The Smurfs®.  NYC & Company, Columbia Pictures, and Sony Pictures Animation have orchestrated Smurfs Week NYC for New Yorkers and visitors alike, to encourage families to travel to the City. The Smurfs are this year’s Get More NYC Family Ambassadors, highlighting New York City as a family-friendly destination, complete with a special itinerary of things to do and see in the City on nycgo.com. In 2010, New York City welcomed about 14.3 million family visitors, a new record. Family visitors tend to spend more and do more than regular visitors, contributing about $12 billion to New York City’s economy.

Smurfs Week NYC kicks off at Merchant’s Gate near Columbus Circle with a 3D Smurfs Village on July 25.  Later that day, the Empire State Building will shine blue to encourage Smurfs fans to donate to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF via unicefusa.org and by texting “ZERO” to UNICEF to make a $10 donation. Activities will continue throughout the week, with an unveiling ceremony at FAO Schwarz, a character meet-and-greet at Build-A-Bear Workshop®, and special themed windows and activities at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Additional events will take place at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, The New York Botanical Garden, the Regal E-walk, The Skyscraper Museum, and more.

“We’re pleased to partner with Sony Pictures Animation to launch Smurfs Week NYC,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “New York City provides an amazing backdrop for The Smurfs film, and the week of July 25 will provide an unbelievable setting for families to experience Smurfs events around the City. And with the Smurfs serving as this year’s Get More NYC Family Ambassadors, we invite families to explore all that New York City has to offer throughout the summer.”

“There are very few characters like the Smurfs – they have an appeal across generations all over the world,” added Marc Weinstock, president, Worldwide Marketing for Sony Pictures.  “That’s why we wanted to team up with NYC & Company to present Smurfs Week NYC.  We’ve planned an exciting week of activities for visitors and New Yorkers alike – this is a great way to celebrate the release of the movie.”

Smurfs Week NYC also includes Smurfs-themed programs, exhibits and activities at 92nd Street Y, the City Parks Foundation, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC Urban Park Rangers, On Location Tours, and Sony Wonder Technology Lab.

For a complete Smurfs Week NYC calendar of events, visit nycgo.com/smurfsweeknyc.

Smurfs Week NYC follows NYC & Company’s successful partnership with Sony Pictures in 2007 on Spider-Man Week in NYC, tied to the release of Spider-Man 3

The Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen in Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live-action and animated family comedy, The Smurfs. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village through a magical portal, they land in the middle of New York’s Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in New York City, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down. Directed by Raja Gosnell. The producer is Jordan Kerner. The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Jay Scherick & David Ronn from a story by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss, based on the Characters and Works of Peyo. SMURF, and all Smurfs characters ©Peyo. All Rights Reserved. “Smurf” and “The Smurfs” are registered trademarks of STUDIO PEYO. The Smurfs will be released in theaters on July 29.

Get More NYC is a domestic and international campaign supported by $14 million in media value that fully integrates dining, shopping, arts, culture, museums, comedy, hotels, Broadway, transportation and attractions by providing exclusive offers and savings for visitors and locals.  The Smurfs are the third Get More NYC Family Ambassadors to promote summer family travel to New York City after Sesame Street in 2009 and Dora the Explorer last year. Get More NYC will continue in the fall with such programs as Off-Broadway Week and Broadway Week, including special Amtrak promotions. For more details on all of NYC & Company’s summer programs and offers, check nycgo.com/getmorenyc.

In 2010 New York City attracted 48.7 million visitors who contributed about $31 billion in spending.  New York City remains on track to achieve Mayor Bloomberg’s goal to attract 50 million visitors annually to New York City by 2012.

About NYC & Company:

NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For more information, go to nycgo.com.

About the Smurfs:

The story of the Smurfs – a property created by Peyo – started in 1958 with the creation of comic books which were later brought to both the big and small screen.  Over the years, the little blue characters haven’t just limited themselves to the page and the screen.  They have inspired records and CDs that have sold millions of copies, entire collections of figurines and toys, and many more products.  In all, more than 3,000 derived products have been produced and leading brands and companies have spread their messages worldwide with the help of the Smurfs.  A multitude of new projects appear regularly, thus making the success of the Smurfs planetary!

About Sony Pictures Entertainment:

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

About Sony Pictures Animation:

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its 2009 worldwide hit, the mouth-watering 3D comedy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and the 2007 Academy Award®-nominated Surf's Up with a full slate of feature films including the live-action/animation hybrid film The Smurfs (3D) and the family comedy, Hotel Transylvania (3D). The division is also in production with Aardman Animations on two feature films, the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D) and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates!  Band of Misfits (3D). Open Season 3, the third adventure in Sony Pictures Animation’s successful Open Season franchise, was released on DVD and Blu-Ray January 2011. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.

About Lafig Belgium S.A.:

Lafig Belgium is the owner of the rights to produce audio-visual works based on the Smurf universe and of the Smurf worldwide licensing rights (together with IMPS).  Lafig Belgium is controlled by the heirs of Pierre Culliford, better known under his pseudonym Peyo, the author/creator of the Smurfs. For 50 years, the Culliford family has controlled the Smurf characters and all licenses worldwide