Marketing stunt? Absolutely. But it’s pretty creative too. Cinemas have been facing a problem of declining audiences, one that has been stemmed slightly by making the moviegoing experience a more premium one. 3D has helped, as well as loads of bombastic films that explode across the screen.
One thing not seen often outside of the US are trivia screens and other distractions before the main feature shows. Personally I don’t think we exploit that gap enough: instead of seemingly unending trailers and ads, would it hurt to throw in a 5 minute short film or cartoon, as used to be the tradition back in the first golden age of cinema?
But while we ignore this spot, American cinemas have been more proactive – the latest being a short bit of gaming…
AMC, a major theatre chain in the US, has revealed that attendees at some of its IMAX theatres to watch Terminator Genisys will be able to participate in a simple game. By using a smart app over local wifi, moviegoers can join in a simple experience where they are randomly paired with a partner and assigned a virtual soldier on the big screen. It’s basically a shooting gallery: the soldiers fire upon killer robots based on how rapidly the players can tap their phone screen. The winners get free posters or whatever goodies the cinema has on hand.
IO9 tried it out and seem to be impressed. The game is very simple, but a fun distraction. Yet more important is the interesting interactive platform this creates for movie houses with their audiences, who are no doubt tired of the same-old pre-film entertainment.
Would this entice you to go to the movies more often? Or is this a way to reward existing audiences? It’s a nice gimmick and smart theatres should expand the app concept to add some real value to their regular customers. This could have a loyalty programme tied to it, interactive quizzes that overlap different movies, maybe even those rare interactive film experiences the market toys with from time to time.
Last Updated: June 29, 2015