Some Canadians who went to see Pacific Rim this summer shelled out twice the standard price for a ticket—and got a digital download of the movie, too. The $19.99 SuperTicket was offered by Cineplex, a company that dominates the Canadian cinema market, and the idea has inspired the US movie industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Paramount already offered a similar deal at World War Z screenings this summer, and studio execs see some promise: For one thing, it means a single marketing campaign can cover both a theatrical and a home video release.
That's tempting when home-video sales have dropped 20% since 2004 (though streaming revenue jumped 45.1% last year from the year before). The US has 40,000 screens; "Why not convert them to retail opportunities for us?" asks a Warner Bros. exec. The video/ticket bundling system appeals to theaters, too, since they wouldn't normally get a slice of video revenue. The odds of "mass audiences" drawn to such deals seem low, writes Erich Schwartzel in the Journal—but Hollywood is ready to experiment.