April 23, 2013 9:01pm PT by Borys Kit
Warner Bros. Partners With Walmart for Early 'Man of Steel' Screening
Who wants to see Man of Steel a day early?
In what may be a first, Warner Bros. has partnered with Walmart to exclusively sell tickets to a screening of the new Superman movie the night before the movie officially opens.
Tickets are to go on sale at 8 a.m. May 18 in 3,700-plus Walmart stores for the advance screening that will take place June 13. Man of Steel opens June 14.
The partnership may be the first time a studio has teamed with a retailer to sell movie tickets. And it gives Walmart a populist edge in the battle to get customers into its stores.
“We couldn’t be more excited to give our customers and associates early access to one of the summer’s most anticipated movies,” said Walmart U.S. senior vp entertainment Laura Phillips. “Walmart’s premiere of Man of Steel once again proves we have the ambition and studio partnerships to develop unique retail programs that give our customers access to the movies they love.”
Buying the early bird tickets also gets fans a copy of a digital comic book written by Man of Steel scribe David Goyer and lets them pre-order the movie’s Blu-ray combo pack or digital download while also offering exclusive movie content.
Signage in Walmart also will have secret movie photos that can be unlocked by a Man of Steel-augmented reality app.
The chain begins its Man of Steel rollout when it begins to sell T-shirts, electronics and other merchandise April 28.
Said Warners domestic distribution president Dan Fellman: “We are extremely pleased to partner with Walmart on this unprecedented initiative, which will allow devoted fans to be among the first to see Man of Steel. We know the movie delivers and believe this unique partnership will kick off strong word-of-mouth that, thanks to the reach and immediacy of social media, will propel moviegoers to theaters nationwide.”
The question now: How will the tickets be counted? Will they go toward opening-day grosses and will they count toward presales seeing as the scheme is outside the normal tickets bounds?