CATEGORIES Animation, Disney, Fandom, Exhibition, Movie Marketing, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, CinematicalImagine going to see Toy Story 3 and an hour into the Pixar sequel the film breaks beyond repair. You're given passes by the theater manager to come again, but how likely is it that you'd return to see the end of Toy Story 3? You'd have to sit through most of a movie you already devoted precious time to. Now, imagine doing the same scenario on purpose, without the film break and where the ticket purchase is for the second viewing rather than the first. This is basically the idea behind the "Cliffhanger Edition" of Toy Story 3, which will be touring college campuses next month.
Open to students only, these free screenings will reveal the first 65 minutes of the movie, and apparently they won't be the 3D versions. To find out if your college is hosting the event, just head over to the invite on Pixar's Facebook page and scroll through the list of schools. Then you can RSVP via a Facebook Event, though this is not a guarantee you'll be admitted (you still have to show up early and stand in line for the first come, first serve seating). Then, once you've seen the first hour of the movie, Disney is hoping you'll tell your friends about it and of course want to return to see the whole thing in 3D, at cost.
Sure, Toy Story 3 is likely a movie that will be worth repeat viewings. But it's debatable if college kids are really going to shell out around $10 to see anything they've already seen most of for free. In fact, it's debatable if they want to see half of a movie in the first place. Some sites are even likening to the tease to "blue balls." Giving moviegoers six minutes of a highly anticipated film like The Dark Knight ahead of another movie is one thing, but larger doses of the strategy may not work so well. Of course, moviegoers are a bit surprising these days, heading out to theaters solely to see lengthy teases for Avatar and trailers for Tron Legacy. And there probably are enough college-age Disneyphiles out there, particularly those who grew up fans of the original Toy Story films, that will be into seeing this much of the sequel two months early. Whether for bragging rights or the temporary feeding of their Disney addiction.
Maybe I'm alone here, whether because I don't have the time or interest in devoting two hours to the same half of a movie or because I have too many bad memories of not finishing movies because of film breaks (you kids today likely have little experience of these now that so many projectors are digital). But does anyone out there really want to see half of Toy Story 3 and then pay to revisit that half two months later in order to see the film's end? And if not Toy Story 3, what upcoming movie are you anticipating so much that you'd participate in this sort of marketing gimmick?