An unprecedented deal between Walmart and Warner Bros. will grant US customers of the mega retailer exclusive access to screenings of Man of Steel one day in advance of the projected blockbuster’s official US release on June 14.
In facilitating a seamless transition from the toy and DVD aisles to the movie aisle, the program essentially makes Walmart a ticket vendor and marks the first time a studio has partnered with a retailer on such a promotion. Tickets for the exclusive screening will go on sale in more than 3,700 Walmart stores starting on May 18, and customers can purchase up to four tickets per visit and choose between 2D or 3D showings. The advance screening will take place in selected local theaters nationwide on June 13.
Of course, there are coinciding social media and merchandising initiatives. For instance, each ticket bought at Walmart will feature a code on the back that allows customers to pre-order their own Blu-ray Combo Pack or HD digital download of Man of Steel, which will contain exclusive film content not offered in other home entertainment versions of the film. Customers will also receive a free original digital comic book written by Man of Steel screenwriter David Goyer with every ticket. A Man of Steel Experience augmented reality app will allow customers to unlock special photo frames by pointing their phone at Man of Steel signage at Walmart stores.
And beginning this Sunday, a variety of Man of Steel merchandise, such as t-shirts, electronics and posters will be available at Walmart stores and at Walmart.com.
The company is promoting the initiatives within the social media space under the hashtag #SeeSteelFirst.