Disney Partnership Will Bring Behind-the-Scenes Content to Theaters

Xolo_Coco_Split -Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of National CineMedia

'Noovie' will take the place of 'FirstLook,' the video show that has been running on thousands of movie screens for more than a decade.

The best place to see a sneak peek at the making of upcoming Star Wars films will be at theaters 20 minutes before the trailers roll, courtesy of a deal Walt Disney has struck with National CineMedia, which launches its Noovie preshow on Friday.

Disney said Wednesday it will provide exclusive content to Noovie, beginning with Coco, the Pixar movie starring an animated Xolo dog named Dante — Xolo being one of the world's oldest and rarest breeds. 

The Disney-National CineMedia partnership will run at least through June 2018, and subsequent content the conglomerate will provide for Noovie includes exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2 and the still untitled Han Solo movie.

Noovie will take the place of FirstLook, the video show that has been running on thousands of movie screens for more than a decade. Before FirstLook, the preshow was called The 2wenty.

"We spent a lot of time looking for something we could trademark, get the URLs for and all the social-media handles. We really like this name," said National CineMedia CEO Andy England.

The company is working on a Noovie.com website to also show off its exclusive video, and it is partnering with other digital outlets, as well.

Another early partner is Sony Music Entertainment's Rumble Yard, which will provide Noovie with behind-the-scenes video of the rock band Foo Fighters that was taken during their "Landmarks Live in Concert" show at the Acropolis in Greece.

National CineMedia intends to promote its Fantasy Movie League through Noovie, as well. Matthew Berry, ESPN's fantasy sports expert, founded FML a few years ago and sold it to National CineMedia in July. 

Noovie videos are about 20 minutes long and there are commercials throughout, and the best content will usually be toward the beginning.

"We want to give people a reason to arrive earlier. We want to dial up the entertainment value," said England.

National CineMedia is owned partially by theater chains AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark, thus Noovie will be shown on 20,700 screens in 1,700 U.S. theaters beginning Friday.

Disney's deal calls for it to supply content to a portion of Noovie called Noovie Backlot, which is about a five-minute portion of the 20-minute video.

"There is no better showcase for our studio content than the big screen, and Noovie Backlot is a fresh way to give fans a fun and exclusive look at our slate of upcoming films," said Disney vp cinema partnerships David Sieden.