In a reverse of preshow warnings to shut off cellphones in the movie theater, Screenvision has created an application encouraging interactivity between audiences and their preshow commercial block. The Screenfanz app encourages audiences to come early, with such features as location check-in and contests and games related to the spots.
The market for alternative content in cinemas is developing rapidly, with more offerings and more variety. Some types of content, such as opera, are producing big returns while results for others are more sketchy, writes Melissa Keeping, director of Thirty Five Mil. But it's still early days, and the potential for growth and eventual sustainability is strong.
Cinemark's new Android application allows users to find Cinemark theaters and buy tickets on their devices. Users can also view movie trailers, find ratings and share their results via social networks.
A trailer for a nonexistent movie from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is playing on more than 5,000 screens across the country in partnership with Screenvision. The nine-minute production, "Movie: The Movie," features Kimmel and an all-star cast including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Martin Scorsese. The trailer, which has also won millions of views online, is seen as a way of reaching younger viewers.
The proportion of U.S. adults who attend movies has risen slightly -- to 61% last year -- from 2007 despite belt-tightening in a down economy. As a result, the Cinema Advertising Council's Mark Mitchell says, ads on movie screens have had "a very positive reception in the marketplace." As chief revenue officer at Screenvision, Mitchell adds that he has seen "growth in a number of key categories that really helped diversify the different types of clients who are using cinema advertising."
Subway, Coke Zero, Chevron and Nestle have signed up to support the big-budget Universal Pictures movie "Battleship," while the U.S. Navy plans in-cinema recruiting ads. "Battleship" is set for a May 18 launch, with commercial partners agreeing to help with promotion ahead of that date.
Nissan's digital agency in India used Facebook to cast a Bollywood-type five-minute production featuring the Nissan Micra for Facebook and YouTube. The short expands on the use of India's popular actor Ranbir Kapoor as the brand ambassador. A 60-second trailer has been running in 3,500 cinemas in India.
The upcoming MGM/Sony James Bond movie "Skyfall" has shattered one record already: The $45 million raised through product-placement deals more than doubles that attained by "Minority Report" in 2002. But despite the movie franchise's legacy for placement dating back a half century, purists are twittering about a Heineken partnership suggesting that Bond has switched from vodka to beer. Other partnerships are less controversial, among them Mattel, 7UP, Kodak, Calvin Klein, Norelco, Ford, Jaguar, Rolex and Omega.
Moviegoers who are typically asked to turn off their phones in the theater are being invited to engage with lobby displays and preshow entertainment through their mobile devices. "We are trying to increase audience involvement and drive more participation than we were able to do with text-to-screen and digital trivia slides in the past. Through the use of their handsets, [audiences will be able to] more fully engage with the messaging and brand advertising that is on the screen," said Mark Mitchell, Screenvision chief revenue officer.
With mobile accounting for nearly a quarter of its business, Fandango said ticket sales in the first quarter surged 127% from a year before. Mobile is playing an increasingly vital role in Fandango's business, said spokesman Harry Medved, "as consumer demand for movie information and tickets on their mobile devices has never been higher."
Established in 2003, the
Cinema Advertising Council
is a national non-profit trade association which serves cinema advertising sellers, the theatrical exhibition community and the advertising community, acting as a central source of information for the industry.