This is completely off topic and a personal rant of sorts but, if you are a youth worker, you might be able to glean a few things to bring back WOW to your youth ministry.
I was listening to the news this morning at how the movie industry ate it big time for the eighth straight year at the box office. This was their lowest bottom line in 8 years and I am not surprised. No one is helping local theaters create better user experiences. I love going to the movies and I hate that it’s become a terribly benign experience. Hey Theater and Movie Moguls! Here are a few suggestions to draw and engage the audience you’re looking for and keep them committed to coming to the movies.
1. Bring back the midnight movie.
If scarcity fuels desire then why have movie theaters started showing block buster movies as early as 8:30 p.m. on Thursday’s. This is stupid. In my experience, the biggest, truest fans come to see these movies at midnight. Let’s make midnight at the movies the biggest party on the planet.
2. Encourage connection.
Fans of super hero movies come dressed up and in the know to these movies. We are a smart crowd. No one shouts, brings babies, or hardly talks during these movies. The movie experience is a plot we’re all in on and we want the mission to succeed. When I saw the Avengers at midnight I saw every hero represented in the form of people in Cosplay. I took pictures and engaged with each person. It was a rich experience. Why aren’t movie theaters creating more moments for our tribe to connect before and after the movie?
3. Go Bigger
Theater’s could encourage engagement through red carpet treatment. Offer people who have dressed up to walk a red carpet and have professional photographers, like paparazzi show up and take pictures. Have Youtuber’s be the press and do interviews with regular fans of the movie as they enter.
4. Embrace the post movie experience
People want to share after the movie. They’ll share on their choice of social media but why not have a press core of people waiting in the lobby to interview, podcast, etc. with the people coming out of the theater? This would only generate more buzz for the movie locally and maybe fill a few more seats. Make the people in the community the stars, not the stars featured in the movie itself.
5. Every opening weekend should be a mini-Con
Comic Con, Dragon Con, Gen con, etc. are huge events but they are scalable. Why not invite local gaming clubs, fan clubs, comic books stores, and con organizers set up booths to engage these movie goers and keep the conversation going. After a super hero movie, why can’t everyone receive a min-poster or Hero-Clix figure? There are tons of ways to make people love coming back to the movies again and offer somethings that Netflix and Hulu cannot offer, human engagement and joy.
The theater experience can be made to wow again. What are some of your suggestions? Leave me a comment below.