Universal is re-releasing Peaceful Warrior, an adaptation of Dan Millman's modestly titled book Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, with a very interesting marketing campaign: They're giving away tickets for free. This is not the first time studios have tried such tactics, earlier this year teachers could see Hilary Swank's Freedom Writers free of charge for a week (Geez, don't teachers get enough perks with those fat paychecks?). Nearly the entire marketing campaign of the film is going into this ticket giveaway, upwards of $15 million dollars. It's a spiritual film, (see the oh-so subtle Christ implications in the picture to the right), so naturally Universal is partnering with Electronic Mecca Best Buy for the promotion. If you go to Best Buy's website from this Sunday to April 1st, you can get up to ten free tickets to the film, which returns to theaters on March 30th.

The film already received a limited release last summer by Lionsgate to poor reviews and a gross of $1.1 million, so why release it again? Universal rep Adam Fogelson says "Traditional marketing tactics will work for the majority of films, but there are going to be some films that are not going to work with them. This film, in my opinion, cannot be reduced to a 30-second spot." Really? Allow me to explain it in one sentence: "An athlete has a mystical experience after suffering a debilitating injury." It stars everyone's favorite spiritual leader Nick Nolte as Socrates, a "mysterious stranger with the power to tap into strength and understanding." (And, knowing Nolte, keg after keg of delicious booze.)

Most interesting to me is that this "spiritual" film that they want to "touch" as many viewers as possible was directed by Victor Salva, a convicted child molester. How does this man continue to get work? And doesn't anyone notice that he only directs films involving taut, scantily clad teenage boys? (Salva also did Powder, Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2) Hell, the plot outline of this movie on imdb is listed as: A chance encounter with a stranger changes the life of a college gymnast." Um, hello? Aren't there more qualified filmmakers out there who haven't, you know, molested people? They couldn't give away tickets to this thing! Oh, wait...