Back when television was first starting to make an impact on how people consumed entertainment, movie studios responded to the sudden drop in theater attendance by coming up with ways to entice ticket buyers back such as widescreen, 3D and stereo. Now the industry is seeing a similar situation as people by pass the theatrical experience in exchange for staying at home and watching a film on their increasingly sophisticated home theater systems. But these days, studios have responded with 3D (again), IMAX and gimmicks like D-Box motion seating as offerings at the local cineplex not available to the average consumer at home.
Paramount has decided to try something a bit different, offering something that extends the experience a bit past the theatrical experience itself. The studio is calling it a “Mega Ticket” and next week’s zombie apocalypse movie World War Z will be the first film for which you can buy one. And for just $50 you get –
- To see the film two days before its official release
- An HD digital copy of the film when it becomes available
- One small popcorn
- A pair of custom RealD 3D glasses
- An official full-size, limited-edition movie poster
Honestly, unless you are a super die hard zombie movie fan, I can’t see how this is much of a deal. An average 3D ticket runs anywhere between $12 and $15 dollars while a HD digital copy of the film will probably be included in the eventual blu-ray release, which will come in around $30. Factor in the price of the popcorn (and no soda), and about the only thing you are getting out of the deal is to see the film two days early and a limited edition poster.
Currently the studio is partnering with Regal theaters to test this in five cities – Orange County, Houston, San Diego, Atlanta and Philadelphia. If it is a success for the studio, I expect we’ll see more promotions of these types. If it doesn’t, I would hope that Paramount experiment or do some research into what kinds of packages people would actually want and feel are worth their money. It’s an interesting idea and one worth exploring in order to get the right combination of things.