Serenity Screenings Sellout via Internet

Posted at Slashdot:

Last Wednesday, Universal offered fans of Joss Whedon’s Serenity the unique opportunity to screen an unfinished version of the movie in ten cities. This was originally intended to pull both fans and non-fans into the fold, but the screenings sold out so quickly (less than a day for all cities to sell-out, but reportably just a few minutes in a couple of locations), it is clear that only the hard-core fanbase will make it in. This seemed to be completely unexpected by Universal, as ads were appearing in newspapers after the sell out, and incentives for the fans to promote the screenings were removed.

The MPA (Motion Picture Association) is lobbying for stronger protections against digital theft of movies via the Internet and one of their arguments is that movies cost like $100 million to make and every woman, man, and child that sees the film should pay a little to make up the expense.

So how much extra did these print ads — which I assume were in major cities — raise the cost of this movie? Because Universal seems clueless about Internet buzz and its power, the ads were unnecessary.

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