New Movie Strategy: Buy Ticket, Get Video

Canadian deal inspires Hollywood
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2013 10:04 AM CDT
New Movie Strategy: Buy Ticket, Get Video
Canadian movie theaters have tried selling videos along with tickets.   (Shutterstock)

Some Canadians who went to see Pacific Rim this summer shelled out twice the standard price for a ticket—and got a digital download of the movie, too. The $19.99 SuperTicket was offered by Cineplex, a company that dominates the Canadian cinema market, and the idea has inspired the US movie industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Paramount already offered a similar deal at World War Z screenings this summer, and studio execs see some promise: For one thing, it means a single marketing campaign can cover both a theatrical and a home video release.

That's tempting when home-video sales have dropped 20% since 2004 (though streaming revenue jumped 45.1% last year from the year before). The US has 40,000 screens; "Why not convert them to retail opportunities for us?" asks a Warner Bros. exec. The video/ticket bundling system appeals to theaters, too, since they wouldn't normally get a slice of video revenue. The odds of "mass audiences" drawn to such deals seem low, writes Erich Schwartzel in the Journal—but Hollywood is ready to experiment. (More cinema stories.)

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