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Paramount isn’t waiting until Friday to launch Justin Bieber: Never Say Never in theaters.
Tapping into Bieber’s widespread fanbase, the studio and RealD are hosting special screenings of the 3D biopic-concert hybrid at 300 theaters across the country Wednesday night.
Tickets are $30 per person, and include special Never Say Never merchandise, such as purple 3D glasses from RealD (purple is the performer’s favorite color).
The Wednesday runs sold out weeks ago. More than 60,000 tickets were issued, bringing in roughly $2 million. Only $1 million will be reported as box-office revenues. The rest will be applied to merchandising.
“As we were putting together the release plan for this movie, we were very respectful of the relationship Justin has developed with his fans. We wanted to stay to true to that relationship, and give them a special and specific way to be the first ones to see the movie,” Paramount vice chair Rob Moore said.
To market the screenings, Paramount used social networking mediums like Twitter and Facebook, which are densely populated by fans of Bieber, who appears on the cover of the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Bieber’s Facebook page has more than 20 million friends alone.
Paramount hopes the Wednesday screenings will spark word-of-mouth in advance of the film’s official opening Friday.
Never Say Never is being released under Paramount’s Insurge banner, and will play in more than 3,000 theaters, a robust number for a documentary.
The Bieber film isn’t a strict concert documentary like Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour and The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, since it also includes biographical information about Bieber’s unusual rise to stardom.
Hannah Montana debuted to $31.1 million; Jonas Brothers, just north of $12 million. Never Say Never should debut somewhere in between.
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