Indie Film Dope Is Using Bitcoin As Payment For Tickets

Bitcoin wins, but what does the film get out of this?

One of the summer’s smaller films Dope will accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets to the film.

In a partnership deal between Open Road Films and MovieTickets.com, moviegoers can purchase their tickets on that website using Bitcoin currency, a first according to The Wrap. The service will be available for those seeing the movie in 900 theaters across the country.

In the movie, the lead character Malcolm (on the left in the poster), a geeky teenager who’s obsessed with 90s hip hop and growing up in a rough part of Los Angeles, uses Bitcoins to sell drugs. There’s another reference to the currency in the movie, along with other digital technologies that all the kids are using these days. The movie was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and has a cool quality that’s sure to rub off on Bitcoin, which has been widely ridiculed (an largely misunderstood, we’re sure) by many up to this point.

More companies are using Bitcoin, so as it rises in name recognition, it might come into greater use. But for now, the currency, probably more so than the movie, benefits from the tie-in. Reaching a younger audience as this film surely will, it’s a way to build a reputation with the people most likely to use it.

“Bitcoin was designed so it could not be regulated easily,” hacker Alex McGeorge told The Wrap. “I don’t know that I could convince my grandma to use Bitcoin. It seems mostly like a young person’s game and that’s who they are marketing to.”

Moreover, it’ll help MovieTickets.com, a site that, if we had to guess, is not nearly as frequented as Moviefone or Fandango.

So what does Dope get out of this? Well, the movie speaks to all things fresh and new despite the references to the 90s culture. I was lucky enough to catch a screening last week and I can’t say that I’ve seen anything like it in a long time. The storytelling is creative, the narrative is entirely of the day and even many of the actors are new to the screen. So the use of Bitcoin is just one more thing to set it apart in a crowded field of summer movies.