For a country relatively new to big-budget movie production, Thailand is surpassing even Hollywood in its marketing and cross-promotional efforts around the release of the historical epic Suriyothai. At lease eight major sponsors have contributed to a campaign that is estimated to cost more than $5.6m (BT250m)

In addition to the series of tie-in books, T-shirts and poster merchandise, a host of major corporations are counting on the success of Thailand's most expensive and high-profile film ever, to boost their business.

The Boon Rawd Brewery has spent some $675,000 (BT30m) on producing 15 million Suriyothai-themed cans of Singha beer, with an additional promotional push to come towards the end of the year. The company will also export an English-language version of the beer to every country where the film is shown. The move follows the successful Boon Rawd sponsorship of The Tears Of The Black Tiger at this year's Cannes film festival, as well as other local movie-linked promotions which increased domestic sales of the beer by 30% during July.

Another sponsor, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, has spent a reported $224,000 (BT10m) on promoting the film with Suriyothai-themed tissues, available from its gas stations.

Meanwhile, Thailand's Telephone organisation has produced 100,000 Suriyothai-themed phone cards, while the Siam Commercial Bank is introducing a Suriyothai credit card and themed savings account.

And finally, Thailand's The Pizza Company has created a special 'Suriyothai' tom yam kung pizza, which comes with a themed book.

But not everyone is invited to enjoy a slice of the Suriyothai action. Co-inciding with the release of the film, the Thai police force has launched a national crackdown on producers and sellers of pirate movies, in an attempt to ensure the theatrical success of the film.